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The captivpfi of Korea* 



The captives 01 f^oi-ea. 


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Our Treatment of Theirs: 
Their Treatment of Ours 




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3. VICTORY 241 



INDEX 339 


IN the spring of 1955 there drifted onto my desk a 
compact, moving but piteously underpublicized document the 
official White Paper issued by the British government on the 
treatment of Her Majesty's prisoners during the Korean War. 

Well, what about ours? Surely, in the vaults of the Pentagon 
and the State Department, material for a far more poignant story 
must exist, since America, having sent vastly more men to that 
fighting line, had incurred a far greater loss in prisoners. Surely 
the story of their captivity could produce a White Paper which, 
even if unofficial, would chronicle their strugglings while in 
Communist hands. 

There was furthermore, and by contrast, the dramatic story of 
the prisoners we United Nations had taken from their Com- 
munist armies men who, perhaps because they had enjoyed good 
treatment and every protection of the Geneva Convention, at last 
had risen in dramatic revolt, with the result that more than half 
had refused to return to their Communist homelands. 

Long before the agony of Hungary, this rebellion against Com- 
munism of the Chinese and Korean prisoners on Koje-do seemed 
to reveal for any who care to look widening cracks in the 
foundations of the Communist Slave-Empires, seemed to prove 
beyond question that these "Tank Democracies", saddled by the 
Soviet Union on countless millions after World War ll y had 
utterly failed to gain the support of the people they ruled. 

Why not then an unofficial White Paper which would tell the 
significantly inter-related stories both of their treatment of our 
prisoners, and our United Nations treatment of theirs? 

From the outset, our Government gave the project full support. 
I enlisted the help of an old friend, Under Secretary of State 
Herbert Hoover, Jr., who put the essential machinery in motion, 



and gave guidance and encouragement each step of the way, 
with the result that any reader who regards this compilation as a 
public service owes a particular debt of gratitude to him, and 
also to his Special Assistant Earl D. Sohm, who in implementing 
these matters, went far Above and Beyond the Call of Duty. 

Assistant Secretary of State Walter S. Robertson was particu- 
larly helpful in disentangling for me some of the complicated 
political aspects of the Armistice Negotiations, since he himself 
had flown to Seoul to rectify with President Rhee various mis- 

John Lindbeck, Public Affairs Advisor in the State Department 
and a specialist on our somewhat tousled relations with the 
Chinese Communists, gave me help in this and many other fields. 

I am most grateful to Gordon Grey, Assistant Secretary of De- 
fense, for his original interest and continuing help was reflected 
throughout the Defense Department. 

Here Major James Kelleher spent countless hours guiding me 
through the archives which told sometimes by statistics or affi- 
davits and occasionally by tape recordings the piteous story of 
what had happened to our prisoners in Communist hands during 
their Yalu captivity. 

Lieutenant Colonel James Monroe dug out for me most of the 
source documents on 'iDrain-washing" if such a thing exists. 
I had full access both to the Communist sound films showing 
American pilots declaiming their fabricated "confessions" of germ 
warfare, and also to sound films taken after their return, in which 
they repudiated these false confessions. Throughout, Colonel 
Monroe ably and persuasively laid before me the Air Force view- 
point on this problem. 

I am deeply grateful to Colonel Kenneth K. Hansen, Infantry, 
now in the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but formerly chief 
of Psychological Warfare for the Far East Command, who was 
asked to give me facts dealing with our handling of prisoners 
from the Communist armies in northern Korea and with collateral 
matters during this pivotal period, and most generously did so. 

Colonel William R. Robinette, Artillery, now in the office of 
the Chief of Special Warfare, Department of the Army, but also 


formerly head of Psychological Warfare in the Far East, most 
gallantly filled gaps in this narrative by supplying me with his 
experiences while a prison commander both on Koje and Yoncho- 
do, and also with colorful and first-hand accounts of the Explana- 
tions at Panmunjom, which he attended as Chief United States 
Observer of Explanations to our North Korean prisoners. 

Reporter Paul Garvey, who attended Explanations as a re- 
porter for the United States Information Agency and is a trained 
and accurate observer, was generous both with his time and his 
background material on this period. Since no stenographic ac- 
count of these sessions exists, I have occasionally filled in dialogue 
from the excellent reportage given by the New York Times. 

Major Harold Whallen, who was and is with the Army's G-2 
section both in the Far East and in Washington, gave me his 
most vivid account of our necessary political screenings of the 
Chinese prisoners we held, in which he could take part since he 
is China-born and a fluent Chinese linguist. 

For fresh and first-hand accounts of Communist treatment of 
our American prisoners, the Defense Department put me in touch 
with a group of highly intelligent young junior officers, recently 
back from captivity, who were willing to tell their stories. From 
these I wove the typical prisoner's narrative, from point of cap- 
ture, through the terrible death marches, then to Communist in- 
terrogation, from this to calculated starvation which was a prel- 
ude to propaganda, and hence to final release. 

While the Defense Department has cautioned me to avoid, in 
these sections, the use of real names in order to protect from 
further pain the families of men who died under such treatment, 
I nevertheless wish to thank Majors Clarence Leroy Anderson 
and William Preston, Captains Paul Thomas O'Dowd and Wil- 
liam L. Lewis, as well as Dr. Sidney Esensten all of them re- 
turned prisoners of war for giving me a considerable part of 
the material which went into these composite narratives. They 
would be the first to insist that their experience was common to 
thousands hence its importance to this narrative. 

My final bow of gratitude is from the waist, and to sundry 
Communist publications which I browsed in the Library of 


Congress, so that I could present their argument along with our 
own, thus giving the reader the chance (impossible in any official 
White Paper) to weigh both in the scale of his own judgment. 

Somehow the name "White Paper*' tagged as a working title 
to this material in its early stages still seems to fit. For even 
though it is sometimes sternly critical of our American policies 
or behavior (unthinkable in any rigid government treatment) it 
still remains a cry to the world to examine the facts, in this 
strange matter of Korean captives. 

But the finished work is flagrantly unofficial. In releasing the 
material to me, both the State and Defense Departments gave 
me not only valued corrections in fact, but also admonitions as to 
some of my conclusions, as well as to the uncombed language in 
which sometimes I had couched these. 

Such friendly warnings I was free in part to disregard as, of 
course, they understood. For any work bearing an author's name 
must include his interpretations, however much in error some 
may hold them to be. 

Therefore, not one featherweight of responsibility for any 
opinion, error or phrase of mine should be put on the shoulders 
of those men from Under Secretary Hoover on down who to 
my mind performed the important public service of rescuing this 
material from the official vaults, so that it might be laid before 
the Free World. 

So if any should take offense at what they may view as the 
Cro-Magnon opinions here expressed, or the Baroque phrases 
with which they may be adorned, this blame is mine alone. 

William Lindsay White 
February 15th, 1957 


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of both political creeds 




IN the year one thousand, nine hundred and fifty, 
the exact center of our troubled century, and precisely at 
4 o'clock in the morning of the 25th of June according to 
their watches and calendars, their patrols began crossing 
the 38th parallel at every point where there was a path, 
moving swiftly south. 

The hour was well chosen. Crops were in. Roads were dry. 
By the time the frontier posts were overrun, there would be 
light enough for serious fighting. 

By the watches and calendars of the few people left in 
the Pentagon, it would be 2 o'clock of a midsummer Satur- 
day afternoon, when those few would be ill prepared to cope 
with a distant war. 

In Switzerland, almost halfway around the world and 
across the International Date Line from those advancing 
patrols of the People's Democratic Republic of Korea ( Com- 
munist), it was then 8 o'clock at night. From the headquar- 
ters building of the International Committee of the Red Cross 



you could see, reflected in Lake Geneva, the dark masses of 
the surrounding peaks in faint silhouette against the after- 

But now lights began to come on in those darkened Geneva 
windows, one by one, mirrored in the quiet lake. For war 
is the business both of the Pentagon and of the International 
Red Cross : cables must be drafted. 

By Monday it was clear to whom they should go. For the 
United Nations Security Council, meeting in emergency 
session, had declared North Korea to be an aggressor, and 
had called on member states to aid South Korea, whose 
government had already been forced out of its capital city 
of Seoul. 

The International Red Cross (and the Free World) then 
knew little about North Korea, a drearily standardized "tank 
democracy" which had been one of the most heavily veiled 
parts of the Iron Curtain empire. Its capital was supposedly 
at Pyongyang. Its independence was recognized only by 
other Communist "People's Democracies/* All its contacts 
with our West were through Moscow. 

Yet perhaps at Pyongyang they knew even less about the 
International Committee of the Red Cross. So in Geneva 
International Red Cross President Paul Ruegger began his 
cable by spelling out in some detail that his Committee was: 


He could have added that this task has little to do with 
national Red Cross organizations; such as the American Red 
Cross, the Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies of the Soviet 
Union, the British, Czech, Argentine, Indian, or Pakistan 
Red Crosses. In time of war each of these aids its own army, 


and in peace they have their own loose world organization 
the League of Red Cross Societies. 

Sharply distinct from them is the International Committee 
of the Red Cross, made up entirely of citizens of neutral 
Switzerland so that, in time of war, its impartiality may not 
be questioned. 

It is this International Committee of the Red Cross which 
has summoned nations to the big Geneva Conferences (in 
1929 and 1949 ) for agreement to protect the helpless in war. 

Still more important, in time of war, this International 
Committee is charged with enforcing that protection. In 
World Wars I and II its delegates from neutral Switzerland 
inspected prison camps of all signing states. These delegates 
make sure that a soldier, when captured, is not tortured for 
information, that he is not shamed or pelted in the streets 
on the way to camp, that his name, rank, and serial number 
are promptly sent to Switzerland, which then notifies his 
government, that he gets hospital treatment as good as that 
given to the army which captured him, that he is well fed, 
clothed, housed, and freed at the war's end. Often this IRC 
delegate sent out from neutral Geneva is the prisoner's only 

In cabling Pyongyang, Paul Ruegger pointed out that 
although North Korea was not one of the 61 states which 
had signed the 1949 Geneva Convention, she could have its 
benefits. Assuring them that a similar cable was going to 
Seoul, he ended by saying that the Committee: 


He also wired a copy of the cable to the Foreign Office 
in Moscow, requesting that since telegraph authorities could 
not guarantee delivery to Pyongyang, would they transmit 
his message? 

He then wired American Secretary o State Dean Acheson 


(by then we were in it) that his IRC was again ready to act 
"as on previous occasions" in its "traditional position as 
neutral intermediary." In fact: 


Any possible doubts as to our attitude were cleared up 
in the State Department's announcement (on July 3) that, 
although Congress had not formally ratified the Geneva 
Convention, we would be guided by their '"humanitarian 
principles" and would "cooperate fully" with the Interna- 
tional Red Cross. 

Two days later President Syngman Rhee (his army was 
being battered down the Korean peninsula) found time to 
praise the Geneva Convention as having been "signed by 
most of the civilized nations" and to proclaim that South 
Korea "is proud to be a signatory" and "will live up to the 
conditions of the Convention/* 

The North Koreans? Nothing from Pyongyang as yet. So 
Paul Ruegger decided to poke them up politely with another 
cable, informing them in graceful diplomatic French that 
the South Koreans had accepted the IRC's offer "identical 
to that we sent you" and that, as soon as North Korea 
authorized the necessary travel visas, 




However high Mr. Ruegger's consideration of Pyongyang, 
it brought him no answer. Instead on July 13th the North 
Korean Communist government "had the honor to inform'* 
the Secretary General of the UN that: 





To Geneva this was glorious news, yet one detail might 
have given Paul Ruegger pause. For in all but name, the 
United Nations and North Korea were now at war. Was it 
only through diplomatic naivete that Pak Hen had tele- 
graphed his foes, instead of more correctly releasing this 
news through neutral Geneva? 

It was, however, no time to puzzle over manners, for three 
days later came the news that South Korea, following 
through on its pledge, 

TO KOREA [as delegate and inspector for the 
[their broken armies were falling back, their 
roads clogged with refugees] SUCH [telegraphed 
their harassed Foreign Minister] AS WE HAVE. 

No further word from the North. So on July 18th Paul 
Ruegger in Geneva gently re-nudged the taciturn Pak Hen, 
reminding this diplomat that his government had announced 


He suggested that Geneva would pay cable tolls and de- 
picted himself as being 


came the big question] WILL ACCORD OUR 

In the prisoner-of-war stockades of South Korea, IRC 
Delegate Bieri was already reporting to Geneva on condi- 
tions, so that presently Paul Ruegger could notify Pak Hen 
that in United Nations Compound #100, the 245 former 
soldiers of his Communist army were now confined in a 
"healthy area, outside combat zone. Newly constructed: no 
barbed wire," that their food was the daily ration of the 
South Korean Army, i.e., "5 hops of rice, % hop barley and 
wheat" with an allowance per man (to buy perishables) of 
"230 wons in cash." Anxious families of these Communist 
prisoners could be given the assurance that "capture cards 
and lists are being prepared" and the carefully neutral Mr. 
Bieri pronounced general conditions satisfactory, "taking 
into consideration the fact that this camp has just been 

Presently Geneva could assure Pak Hen that on July 29th 
Delegate Bieri had found similar conditions in the United 
Nations POW Camp #1, with the difference that these pris- 
oners' capture cards had already been forwarded. Also, in 
talking to Bieri, the prisoners had requested him to ask 
the camp authorities to serve their ration in "three meals 
daily." Meanwhile, Bieri, on his own, had warned camp 
authorities that "in bad weather, they need blankets. " 

From Pak Hen, however, no answering cluck of gratitude, 
so Ruegger now took up with Bieri in South Korea various 
schemes for getting the other IRC delegate, Jean Courvoisier, 
into North Korea, where he could inspect Communist prison 
stockades holding United Nations POWs. Bieri reported the 


Chief of the Soviet Mission in Tokyo would not even give 
Courvoisier permission to go to Vladivostok until he had a 
North Korean entry visa. 

Failing this, Paul Ruegger explored with Bieri various 
romantic possibilities. Could not Courvoisier be taken to the 
front lines of the retreating United Nations armies, from 
thence to be encircled and captured by the advancing Com- 
munist divisions? Or perhaps parachuted from a United Na- 
tions plane? 

The UN Command, however, harassed with the problems 
of withdrawal before a Communist avalanche, could not take 
responsibility. So Ruegger now diverted his cables to the 
North Korean Red Cross, which had, according to his 
records, at least a paper existence in Pyongyang, be it only 
a desk in their Ministry of Health. 

On August 2 Ruegger informed this shadowy institution 
that Bieri was already at his neutral tasks in South Korea, and 


When no answer came to this, nor from Pak Hen, Ruegger 
gingerly took the dangerous step of going over his head. 
There seemed little to lose, and conceivably he had addressed 
the wrong department. So now he cabled Pak Hens boss, 
the Prime Minister of North Korea. He first listed that 
ample nest of Geneva's previous cables on which Pak Hen 
was setting, 


CEIVED A REPLY SO FAR, [and then begged transit 
CHINA CAN [according to cable from Chou En-lai] 

First, silence, and then in mid-August a ray of hope, and 
Ruegger from Geneva is joyously cabling Chou En-lai in 


t A few days later Courvoisier is hopefully knocking on the 
door of the North Korean Embassy in Peiping, only tcTGe 
told by underlings to write His Excellency a letter. ( It got 
no answer.) Then from Peiping he is cabling Pyongyang, 
requesting his entrance visa in order to take up with them 
matters concerning the bombardment of hospitals and the 
establishment of security zones for civilians, to make these 
known to the aircraft of the other side. (It got no answer.) 
Perhaps Korean Communists feel proud silence becomes a 
victor, for by now the North Korean armies had herded the 

*The spelling of China's ancient capital is today a matter of 
hot political dispute. In roman letters it was originally written as "Peking" 
by the English and "Pekin" by the French. Before World War II it was 
renamed "Peiping" City of Peace by the Kuomintang government, and 
this variant today is used by all anti-Communist Chinese, the U.S.A. and 
the Author, while pro-Communist Chinese and Her Britannic Majesty's 
government have reverted to "Peking." 

All three forms, in their appropriate documentary contexts, appear in this 
volume. W. L. W. 


American 24th Division and the remnants of South Korea's 
armies into a tiny perimeter around Pusan, with some likeli- 
hood that they could be pushed into the sea. And Red 
Cross Delegate Bieri was assuring Geneva that if this hap- 
pened, he would stay on in Pusan, in the hope that the 
victorious Communists would let him look after their Ameri- 
can and South Korean prisoners. 

But the Communist silence (whatever its reason) was now 
broken by what in Washington might almost have seemed 
a triumphant cackle from Pak Hen, who on August 16th 
cabled Geneva: 


This made still more urgent the matter of getting Cour- 
voisier into North Korea. Perhaps the Soviet Union, her 
giant protector to the north, might make Pak Hen see reason, 
so the heartstrings of Jacob Malik were plucked by a cable 
from Ruegger addressed to him in New York where, as 
Foreign Minister, he represented the USSR on the UN Se- 
curity Council: 


It got no answer. So far (it was now late August) the net 
result of Paul Ruegger's persistent cables in flawless diplo- 
matic French had been to get for the International Red 
Cross one useless Chinese transit visa. Yet nothing should 
be overlooked, and, in scanning the bulletins of the various 


national Red Cross societies, he paused at one from Hungary 
and then wired: 


... for needed drugs might find their way to UN prisoners 
held in North Korea, even if no Red Cross inspecting dele- 
gate had yet got in. 

The General I 

So now, what of those prisoners? Hear first from 
an American general who, in the confusion of mid-July, 
had got separated from his command and 36 days later (the 
last 20 with nothing to eat), "became overconfident and 
walked into a small patrol." He was not spotted as a general 
but "at Chonju they put me in a jail by myself, on account 
of my being an Occidental. The next morning, someone 
who could read English identified me. The officer in charge 
. . . was very apologetic, said he knew officers of high rank 
shouldn't be kept in a jail . . . gave me a haircut, a shave, 
and a bath, and put me in a cottage outside. . . ." 

Now during all those 36 days of dodging and hiding, The 
General had dreaded not particularly death, but rather 
interrogation. For during them as he skulked through the 
brush, drank foul water from rice paddies fertilized with 
human manure, and slept in ravines, he had carried with him 
the war's most important secret. 

This he had learned on about July 4th, from a member 


of General MacArthur s staff who had come over from Japan 
when our armies still were being knocked loose from one 
strong point after another. The staff officer had explained 
that they could expect no immediate help through more 
American divisions landing at Pusan, toward which southern 
port they were now desperately retreating. 

But when they had reached Pusan and were fighting with 
their backs to die sea, outnumbered and presumably with 
little hope, a new American striking force would suddenly 
be landed at Inchon, the port city of Seoul far to the north, 
now firmly in Communist hands. From here, driving across 
the Korean peninsula from the Yellow Sea toward the Sea 
of Japan, it would sever enemy lines of communication 
as you might snip the legs of an octopus from its head. 

Once these were cut, starving Communist armies might be 
crushed between this new Inchon striking force and that 
from Pusan then moving triumphantly north. 

All hung on surprise. Were this secret not kept, that new 
striking force, loaded in Tokyo and perhaps even now at sea, 
might be met by Communist divisions massed on the Inchon 
beaches, its men butchered in the shallows of the Yellow 
Sea before ever they got ashore. 

After those 20 foodless days The General was hardly more 
than skeleton. Under skillful questioning and who knew 
what pressures would his mind be keen enough to guard 
that secret, on which hung the lives of thousands of Ameri- 
cans, and perhaps (who knew?) the fate of Asia? 

Next morning after that bath, shave, and night's rest in a 
clean bed (treatment correct even by Geneva's standards), 
it began. When The General was led to the room, he ex- 
pected to find an interpreter and perhaps two military inter- 
rogators. Instead here were perhaps a score of oriental faces. 

Now the questions; Why had America intervened in this 
Korean Civil War? Why were American planes slaughtering 


innocent Korean women and children? Why should Ameri- 
can boys be sent across the Pacific to maintain in power that 
puppet of Wall Street Imperialism, Syngman Rhee? 

In panying these, The General tried to maintain the dig- 
nity of his American uniform. But he was puzzled that no 
sober military questions were asked. None of them seemed 
to care what plans we might have for saving that army 
now tightly hemmed in at Pusan, how many other American 
divisions were on their way, nor where they might be put 
ashore. He also noted that some of the voices and faces in 
this room were curiously familiar. 

Not until much later did he learn that this had been only 
a press conference, held to display an American general as 
a war trophy, and that he had been facing only reporters, 
some of whom had attended press conferences he had given 
when he had been Military Governor of South Korea, when 
they had goaded him with bitter Marxist questions. Per- 
mitted, of course, in that democratic land. 

Now they told him that tomorrow he would be taken 
to Seoul, Korea's ancient capital, now in Communist hands, 
where once he had presided as military governor. 


MEANWHILE from Geneva the International Red 
Cross was forwarding to North Korea the September 5 re- 
port of IRC Delegate Frederick Bieri on the condition of 
Communist prisoners held by the United Nations. Although 
a victorious Communist army was tightening its net around 
beleaguered Pusan, the 8th US Army's POW Camp #1 just 


outside that city held 2,252 prisoners, of whom 480 were 
wounded. Delegate Bieri noted that in each compound "cor- 
ner tents are marked PW in large white letters . . . with 
the Red Cross emblem" and at night "signs are illuminated." 
The Geneva Convention was being scrupulously observed. 
Food? "Plentiful and of good quality ." Under Medical Care: 
"On arrival each POW deloused and vaccinated." Health, 
very good "most prisoners are gaining weight." 

As for capture cards, "1,535 have been mailed to the 
International Red Cross in Geneva" (for transmission to 
North Korea), "remainder in course of preparation." Com- 
plaints? "Our delegate questioned officers, other ranks, able 
bodied and wounded concerning food, treatment, etc. no 
complaints were made." 

There had, however, been questions. The Communist 
camp spokesman had wondered whether the daily calories 
were really sufficient, but when told by Bieri that the "daily 
caloric intake was 3,500 more than enough for a non-working 
POW he was satisfied with this explanation" but requested 
"more meat and fish in the diet." IRC Delegate Bieri dis- 
cussed this "with the Camp Commander, who immediately 
took up the matter with his supply officer." The report con- 
cluded that "the Delegate's impression was that die camp 
was extremely good." 

Geneva had also located an expert in Korean calligraphy, 
so the IRC was now mailing to the North Korean Ambassa- 
dor in Moscow a letter not this time in diplomatic French, 
but in the ink-brush characters of his own language: 
O Excellency! 

We are happy to wish you good health in this lovely 
harvest season [it was^September llth] when ten thou- 
sand wheat spears ripen. [And then to business: ] We have 
sent, as quickly as possible, the names of war prisoners 
to their respective governments. But since the only 


means of communication with your government is by 
telegraph., we have not sent you the official prisoner lists 
transcribed in Korean. We now venture to ask if it 
would be possible for you to forward to your government 
these lists in Korean which we are now prepared to send. 

Before a reply could come back from Moscow, Geneva 
was elated by a telegram from Pak Hen in Pyongyang, who 
had ... 


Did this mean that the Communist boycott was relaxing 
and that, perhaps after all, Delegate Courvoisier, fretting in 
Peiping, would soon get his North Korean entry visa? Or 
did it only mean that victors could afford to be magnani- 
mous? For Communist divisions were daily tightening their 
noose around the shriveling Pusan perimeter. Surely it would 
not be long . . . 

What no one knew, either in Geneva or in Pyongyang, was 
that American cruisers and destroyers, screening a school 
of landing craft, on this night had already rounded the south- 
ern tip of Korea and then had turned due north, keeping 
well down under the horizon from land, but moving toward 
Inchon. There were to be no more cables from Pak Hen. 

The General * II 

IN Seoul came The General's first real military in- 
terrogation. No reporters; grim-faced soldiers in this circle 
"they knew now they had a top officer" and "that night they 


started hammering ... I very foolishly talked to them." 
They wanted to know "what was coining over and in what 
strength ... I tried to tell them we only brought about 
7,000," but they knew better, for they "had captured people 
from all our combat units by that time. They took great 
delight in telling me how far off base I was." 

There remained the terrible secret of Inchon: The General 
was "fearful all the time they would start hitting me" on this. 
They did. They said, " 'What are your plans? What are you 
over here for?' I'd say I came over here to assist the Republic 
of South Korea in driving the aggressors north of the 38th 
parallel." Because this "aroused their anger," it worked; they 
"didn't start hitting me on anything of military value," and 
shipped him north to Pyongyang. For the moment his Inchon 
secret seemed safe. 

For the two-day trip they hoisted him up to the bed of a 
three-quarter-ton truck on which they had set "an ordinary 
barracks chair," probably a throne of state in deference to The 
General's rank, but which he feared was "going to tip over." 
Sure enough, even before the truck bumped into Kaesong, 
"the chair collapsed" and for the rest of the trip "I sat on the 
floor and the guard sat on me." 

He got to Pyongyang late the second night and was "met 
by a very pleasant Korean who said 'I am Lee. I am to take 
care of you/ " He had "a cot and some sheets, and they put 
me to bed." 

Now The General's dysentery (probably from drinking 
ditchwater) had already started at Chonju, and by this time 
"I was really very ill. I had lost more weight. They let me stay 
in bed about two days, and then they sent in Colonel Kim. 
His first interrogations didn't mean much." 

They were, in fact, at this point asking The General to do 
them only two trifling favors. One was to "broadcast to the 
American troops that the South Koreans had started the 


war/* that our boys had been brought into it "under a false 
assumption/' so "there was no use fighting, to go home." 

The second was "to sign a statement saying that Syngman 
Rhee was a son of a bitch/* They had many more expressions 
in their oriental translations. 

In return, they were prepared to extend The General un- 
usual courtesies. They asked if he drank. He said no, "except 
a little sherry wine before dinner/' They said "they would 
be able to get some sherry from the Soviets ... all I had to 
do was to sign this and say that, and everything would be 
hunky dory. I'd soon see my family." 

Mark well that up to this point, the Communists' treat- 
ment of The General had not violated the Geneva Conven- 
tions. Since his capture he had been adequately fed, housed, 
and treated with the respect due his "age and rank" as Article 
44 provides. 

True, already there had been reports of combat-zone 
atrocities, and more were to come. Helpless American pris- 
oners who surrendered in good faith were to be wired to- 
gether and then, in the retreat, slaughtered without mercy. 
Such cases were to be numerous. They have been verified 
beyond question. They are flagrant violations of Geneva's 
rules. They do not here concern us. 

Instances when, during a hasty retreat in the combat zone, 
a cowardly or sadistic guard has shot lagging prisoners in 
panicky fear that it is his life or theirs are common in badly 
disciplined armies such as that of North Korea, but not un- 
known in the best of armies and in almost every war. 

Nor are we concerned in these pages with prisoners* 
deaths, however tragic, due to unavoidable wartime short- 
ages in what was, even in peace, a stark and primitive land. 

All are beyond our scope and we focus on what will 
happen, not in the irresponsible heat and fear of the combat 
zone, but instead on those things which are to be done with 


cool skill, by men in top authority, in carrying out calculated 
plans of governments presumably responsible, if not to their 
people at least to a creed. 

Back now to The General, his bowels wracked with the fire 
and water of dysentery (which was no fault of the North 
Koreans), lying on their sheets while they seek information. 
Geneva's Article 17 says a prisoner ". . . is bound to give only 
his name, rank, date of birth, and serial number . . " We 
have already heard The General, in sparring to guard his 
precious secret of the Inchon landings, divulge far more 
than this. Captors are free to squeeze out what they can by 
persistence, coaxing, or guile. Such shrewd questions and 
studied answers can even become a game (the stakes are 
high) which, played skillfully from both sides of the table, 
may be as exciting as chess. Geneva bars no question, except 
that "no physical violence or mental torture nor any other 
form of coercion may be inflicted" 

As for The General's interrogators, "they talked hours and 
hours. I would see that beautiful bed that I had enjoyed so 
much for two nights, but I couldn't get on it again/' and 
after three days of this they took him to Suan where they 
had partitioned off the chancel of a little Catholic church 
for a cell. "They even took the rug out. One guard stayed 
in the cell with me," and Colonel Kim had come along, per- 
sisting day and night about those two statements. 

"What was his attitude?" The General was asked later in 
the Pentagon. "Was he trying to be peaceful about it?" 

"Oh yes, sir. I was his best friend. I was only misguided. 
I might be a fair soldier, but I was politically ignorant." The 
General noted that Colonel Kim not only questioned him, 
but also was keeping track of his bowel movements, which 
at the start were only 16 a day but had reached "35 times a 
day, and I was kind of weak getting out to the latrine, . . . 
in fact, a couple of times I couldn't get out. I was running 


out of clothes/ 7 It was after 1 o'clock when they let him go to 
bed, but two hours later Kim came back. They were return- 
ing to Pyongyang, because "I had to do something about 
calling off all this bombing of their cities/* 

When The General had been in Pyongyang two days 
before, he had heard from his prison window the overhead 
hum of what he guessed were our Navy light bombers, but 
he also noted that they were missing their target the nearby 
Pyongyang railroad yard that was still operating. 

This now gave him an idea Kim might accept in place 
of those two statements. He told Kim he'd write "a letter to 
[General] Walker. I know your people can deliver it; you are 
so good at going through the lines/ 7 

Carefully worded, the letter assured Walker he was being 
"treated very well. I am ashamed I let you down. Ashamed 
to be a prisoner of war. And I urge that you get your air 
concentrated on military targets, and not on civilian targets." 

The General hoped, if Walker recognized his handwriting 
( it was hardly a scrawl ) , that he would see that our planes si- 
lenced those Pyongyang switch-engines. At least the next 
day they let him go back to bed. 

But not long after this a three-star North Korean general 
handed him a list of questions: What were America's aims 
in the Orient, what secret weapons did we have, and (this 
was dangerously close to the Inchon secret) what are Gen- 
eral MacArthur's plans? "You've got to write/' said Lee 
grimly. So The General wrote. When he was through, Lee 
picked it up and read: 

I dont know any of these answers. I am just an infantry 
division commander. I am very fortunate that I don't 
know. "Because, if I did, I wouldn't tell you. 

"You have 24 hours to think it over," he said. 


As promised, Lee returned with a team of three and, work- 
ing in shifts, they questioned him. The thing he remembers 
most clearly is the hard chair. He was by now so thin that the 
weight of his spine was poking his bones through the skin of 
his buttocks, against that hard wood. He could sit on his 
hands until they began to swell. 

Colonel Kim (no longer his best friend) was pounding 
the table and sometimes, when he got on the subject of 
American bombing, talked so excitedly that he spit in their 
faces. On one of those nights The General came back at him 
with the story of the men of the 21st Infantry we had found 
shot dead with their hands wired behind their backs. 

"If you say more," screamed Kim, "I shall spit in your 
face! Close your eyes, I am going to spit!" 

"Hell/' said The General, "youVe been spitting in it for 
the past half hour." Anyway, these subjects kept them away 
from the Inchon landings. 

There was also the matter of his being a war criminal, "not 
for having come into this war with the 24th Division, but 
for my misdeeds as military governor of Korea.** He had 
been trying to hold South Korea's first free election, but in 
one area Communist agents had led guerillas down from 
the hills to break up voting boxes and burn ballots. They had 
killed a great many people. "We sent down a constabulary 
which is now ROK. They were fighting each other, both sides 
wantonly killing families suspected of harboring. When they 
did kill one guerilla, they put his head on a pike.* Naturally I 
took it off die pike. And I brought the policemen to trial 
for having killed women with spears, and for having killed 
people without trial." 

Colonel Kim now "showed me a photograph of that guer- 

*An honor traditionally accorded unsuccessful politicians in 
Tudor and Stuart England and persisting, in Northeast Asia, down to our 
own tunes. W. L. W. 


ilia's head on the pike. And they said trying those policemen 
for murder didn't bring the other people back to life. They 
were going to try me for murder/' 

Toward dawn of the first night of this, The General got a 
chill. "I couldn't keep my teeth from chattering. That irri- 
tated Kim. Tm sorry I'm cold/ I said." 

Then Kim had screamed, "This is not cold! Ill show you 
what is cold!" And he had the guards strip The General 
down to his PX shorts. The General remembers that Colonel 
Kim was at the time wearing "one of those big, Russian- 
style officer overcoats. It was cold as the devil in that 

At the end, when they stood up, Kim had said, "All right. 
You can't have any soap. You can't have any water. You are 
a dog. Act like a dog. We're going to put you outside." In 
his adjoining cell there had been a cot. This they now re- 
moved, and pushed The General inside. Exhausted, he lay 
down on the floor. 

He did not know that, even as he slept, a barrage from our 
naval guns was thundering down on Inchon, blasting to bits 
whatever wire they might have put up on those beaches 
and that, under the protective arc of tracers, a swarm of 
landing craft was moving toward the beaches, so that his 
terrible secret of Inchon need no longer be kept. 

Sleeping on the stones he could not know that, because 
he had guarded it so well, our armies could climb up empty 
beaches, move into Inchon and past it almost without 

Until, weary years later, he was sent home, he could not 
understand the two-day break in his interrogation, during 
which lie could doze on that stone floor. Nor account for 
the fact that, when they came back, they asked no more 
about MacArthur's plans for Korea (his divisions were al- 


ready in Seoul) but instead were frantically curious about 
Japan. Had it been stripped bare for Korea? If not, how 
many divisions? How much anti-akcraftships submarines? 
In case of attack, what were our defense plans for Japan? 
Over, over, and over. "This time they went 44 hours. Then 
a short break and once again, 32 hours. . . . Each one was 
continuous and, during all of them, I was on the floor with 
no cover." 

Then The General adds something in fairness to his best 
friend, Colonel Kim. "During all of it," he says, "I was never 
hit or slapped." 


BACK now from The GeneraTs chill cell to the 
stately Waltz of Diplomats. In Geneva Paul Ruegger is read- 
ing with fresh hope an answer from North Korea's Ambas- 
sador in Moscow. 

That letter [written in Korean characters] is not only 
acknowledged, but his Plenipotent and Extraordinary Ex- 
cellency in Moscow expresses to Mr. Ruegger "my most 
lively respect; your Committee having done everything* 
conscientiously to execute the International Conventions.^ 
He went on to agree that postal links between Geneva and 
distant Pyongyang were "for the moment nonexistent/' 

"Therefore we pray you to have the kindness to send the 
official POW lists to our Embassy here" (in Moscow). He 

* (Yes, but, up to this point, what had His Excellency's govern- 
ment done in return? W. L. W. ) 


was, with a flourish, "Tchou Nyung-Ha, Ambassador Pleni- 
potentiary & Extraordinary, of the People's Democratic Re- 
public of Korea," 

Surely this was hopeful, and likewise the warm answer 
from the Hungarian Red Cross to Mr. Ruegger's offer of a 
gift of medical supplies for that ambulance which Hungary's 
Red Cross was sending to their fellow Communists in North 
Korea. Budapest now ecstatically informed Geneva that 

it is with joy that we receive these sincere manifestations of 

your desire to help . . . gladly accept your proposal . . . 

enclose a list of needed medicines . . . thanking you again. 

. . . Highest consideration, 

Etienne Florian 
Under Sec'y General, 
Red Cross of Hungary 

Who might he be? Perhaps some timid pre-war intellectual 
who has found what he hopes is a safe niche in the Com- 
munist bureaucracy of that sad land, but who now burbles 
with delight (is it discreet?) at this chance of contact with 
the Free West. 

These two friendly Communist answers roused in Geneva 
some hope that the unhappy Courvoisier, their anointed 
delegate to North Korea still fretting in Peiping, might soon 
get his entry visa. So now in a telegram to North Korea's 
Foreign Minister, humbly Geneva begged that he 




Our Treatment of Theirs 

MEANWHILE not far from Pyongyang IRC Dele- 
gate Frederick Bieri was looking after the welfare of Com- 
munist prisoners held by United Nations armies. On Sep- 
tember 30 he saw 6,284 prisoners, bagged following our 
landings two weeks before, now temporarily housed in 
Inchon's jail where there was "no lighting yet . . . installa- 
tions damaged by former occupants/' Their state of health 
he found only "fair," probably because many had, like our 
General, been dodging about the ridges for some days or 
weeks before capture, so that "nutrition and personal sanita- 
tion . . . extremely poor on arrival''; and "Since September 15 
[the day we landed on Inchon] there have been 19 deaths- 
majority dead on arrival/* But, on the date of Bierfs un- 
announced visit, he f ound the half -starved men wolfing down 
"rice, fish and soya beans. 7 * There was of course an "interview 
with spokesman: mentioned he thought ration scale low. On 
being informed it was about the same as that of the ROK 
Army, he declared himself satisfied. No other complaints." 

Summarizing his report, Delegate Bieri found that "under 
present conditions," the stockade was "a very good transit 
camp, and conditions satisfactory." Also (and in contrast 
to the stone church floor on which our General was then 
lying) Delegate Bieri noted that "nearly all POWs have a 
blanket and a mat. Further issues will be made shortly." 
This, like all Bierfs reports, the IRC dutifully forwarded to 
North Korea via Moscow. 

For aid to UN prisoners perhaps one road migjht lie 
through Hungary via that Communist ambulance. So pres- 


ently Ruegger in Geneva is assuring Etienne Florian in 
Budapest that 

"we are sending you ... as rapidly as possible the medicine 
and instruments, which we beg of you to use in aid of victims 
in the People's Democratic Republic of Korea. Our first ship- 
ment left the 6th of October. Please accept the assurance of 
our most distinguished consideration . . ." 

He also apprised Pak Hen in Pyongyang: 


Meanwhile the Western press was flooded with stories of 
hair-raising Korean atrocities. On October 19th Ruegger 
braved the continuing silence of Pyongyang with still 
another message, 


At most it might help; at least, it was on record. For even 
in hopeful Geneva, Pak Hen's continuing silence to appeals 
was by now losing some of its surprise. Even so Geneva fol- 
lowed up, a few days later telling Pak Hen they would be 


Nor was all rosy in South Korea. Around Pusan the be- 
sieging army of 600,000 Communists had, with the news of 


the Inchon landings, melted into the hills, casting away their 
uniforms, and begging or stealing civilian clothes. As our 
freed Pusan divisions now moved north to join with the 
Marines new-landed at Inchon, they had to push through 
surprise attacks of guerillas disguised as peaceful fanners 
and wandering refugees. Bewildered because friend could 
not be told from foe, our harassed commanders had appealed 
to the South Korean civil authorities. 

The bloody results of this confusion brought from the Red 
Cross delegate a blistering letter of protest to President 
Syngman Rhee. 

Neutral Frederick Bieri told President Rhee that on Octo- 
ber 20 he and an IRC colleague had seen "a batch of civilian 
prisoners (both male and female, some of the latter carrying 
infants on their backs ) all tied to a rope marching toward 
Westgate Prison," in Seoul, and later others similarly trussed, 
"on their way to a center of interrogation in the building of 
the Ministry of Justice/' Rumors had it that these people were 
jailed only because they "were alleged to be ... members 
of the Communist Party." 

But it was stoutly denied by the Acting Minister of 
Foreign Affairs: ". . . contrary to rumors spread against the 
[South] Korean Government, arrests were made only of 
those who are criminals, suspects, traitors and collaborators, 
and no civilian persons were ever arrested because of their 
political beliefs." 

Between this official and his colleague the Minister of 
Justice there had hardly been a meeting of minds, for the 
Minister of Justice had explained to the inquisitive Swiss 
that since "Communists think only of killing" it had been his 
duty "to put them into jail," and '"kill them first, before 
they had an opportunity to kill others." 

His explanation was, to the neutral Swiss, simple perhaps, 
but highly unacceptable. Quickly they demanded permission 


to visit these jails, and reported what they saw both in photo- 
graphs and stern prose: "about 50 dead bodies of men, 
women and babies/' and an estimate, "from prison doctors 
themselves, that the daily death rate due to starvation alone 
is about 100 (One Hundred)." 

The IRC delegates now demanded of Syngman Rhee that 
all such political prisoners "be released or ... be placed in 
Civilian Internee Camps, in accordance with , , . the Geneva 
Convention . . . 

Note that the South Koreans let the neutral Swiss see the 
prisons, however shocking, let them send abroad ( even into 
the Communist world) their reports and photographs, while 
North Korea barred all inspection. Mark also that Frederick 
Bieri presently got from South Korea's Foreign Minister a 
sober letter, 

. . . we are engaged in a life or death struggle, . . . are 
sorry to say that conditions are not what they were 
before the war . . . [but the President had granted] 
a special clemency and many capital punishments were 
commuted. . . . We are doing everything possible 
steadily to improve conditions. 

What mattered more, following IRC suggestions, Civilian 
Internee camps were soon set up. 

Back in Geneva the International Red Cross, ever seeking 
to give the UN's Communist-held prisoners the same neutral 
protection, now played what seemed their highest card. To 
date, the only official of North Korea's Communist govern- 
ment who, in answer to their countless pleas, had given even 
one courteous reply had been its Ambassador to the USSR. 
Perhaps this diplomat would be moved if they humbly sought 
him out, in Moscow and in person. Face to face, they might 
uncover and then allay some secret doubt Pyongyang har- 
bored about the International Red Cross. For it could be 
that Pyongyang just did not understand. 


The result of this abasing pilgrimage is told in a letter, a 
fly preserved in the golden amber of Swiss diplomatic prose. 

Addressed to His Plenipotent and Extraordinary Excel- 
lency in Moscow, it sets forth that the IRC mission, headed 
by its President Paul Ruegger, had arrived in Moscow, and 
"on November 17 I telephoned your Embassy, but was told 
that unfortunately you were not present at the moment.'* 
Accepting this polite fiction, the IRC envoy nevertheless the 
next day "went to your office, where I was received by two 
of your colleagues." With these smiling but uncommunica- 
tive underlings he had left, first, copies of that mountain of 
telegrams from Geneva to Pyongyang, "which, alas, have so 
far had no answer," plus still another copy of the Geneva 

He had then asked the underlings to remind His Ex- 
cellency that the IRC was still imploring his government 
to grant an entry visa allowing even one of their delegates 
to enter Pyongyang, also that a ton of IRC medicines had 
been sent through the Hungarian Red Cross, and further 
that Geneva's War Prisoner Agency had so far received 
from Pyongyang a list of only 110 prisoners (all Americans) 
and now hoped for "further lists [they never came] of pris- 
oners it has captured." 

And in plaintive conclusion .the IRC would now "be happy 
to know, M. TAmbassadeur, what you propose to do about 
these different communications and messages?" 

No answer then or ever, but, as bitter winter settled over 
Korea, families of United Nations soldiers had a mounting 
anxiety over the fate of thousands reported "missing in 
action," which resulted in more imploring telegrams from 
the IRC to Pyongyang: 

this one baited with the information that in 


South Korea the IRC delegate, out of IRC funds, 
was providing Communist prisoners with] FICTION, 

And the following week the IRC, under pressure of 
frantic United Nations parents, was reminding Pyongyang 
that it had already received through IRC channels 5,230 
names of its own North Korean prisoners, so 


But, in this last gambit, the gentle Geneva Swiss surely 
were wasting their humanitarian breath. For why should the 
anxiety of any prisoner's family constitute even remotely a 
"problem" for a North Korean Communist official? 

The General III 

DAY and night they hammered at him. When at 
intervals they let him sleep on the stone floor of his im- 
provised cell in that abandoned Catholic chancel, it was not 
from consideration for him, but to get a rest themselves, or 
to think up more questions which might pry from him our 
defense plans for Japan, since he had, as they knew, been 
Chief of Staff for the 8th Army. 

There had followed one question period which lasted 68 
hours. Eventually "they quit because they were going to take 
me to a torture chamber in the morning, just a mile away/* 

"You talked to them quite a bit, back and forth?*' he was 
later asked in the Pentagon. 


"I was trying to divert them from those oriental tortures. 
A person can talk without giving away anything unless he 
thinks he is smart and tries to make up a story. It's a human 
tendency not to want to appear dumb especially before the 
enemy. I'd always say I was the dumbest officer in the 
American army." 

As for the torture chamber, they "described it. They were 
going to force water down my throat and up my rectum. This 
was fine, because I would die quickly. But then they told 
me about the old sliver thing. Td seen corpses that had had 
that. Hammered up under your fingernails/* 

It was at this point that The General decided to kill 
himself. Not to avoid the pain, but for sober, soldierly rea- 
sons. It was to guard those Japanese Defense plans and the 
still more terrible secret of the Inchon landings. The General 
preferred life, as who does not? But "with the lives of so 
many others involved ... I felt I had no right to gamble 
with my own powers of endurance [he was now reduced by 
sleeplessness and dysentery to a shivering skeleton loosely 
hung with skin] I was afraid I wouldn't die fast enough, 
might tell them something/' 

He planned it carefully. That night lying on the stone 
church floor, he waited until both the guard on one side of 
him and the interpreter on the other seemed asleep. Then 
he made a dive for the guard. He got the tommy gun, all 

Of course, the terrible secret of Inchon, for which The 
General was trying to give his life, was secret no longer. 
Two weeks before, the Marines, achieving complete surprise, 
had landed there and had rolled on up to Seoul. As the 
weakened man struggled to get the tommy gun's muzzle in 
his moutibuand his thumb on its trigger, he was probably the 
dfaly man in all Korea who did not know this. 

The struggle had awakened the interpreter. He jumped on 
The General, who got the sudden strength to knock him 


down. By this time the guard was on his feet, and together 
they managed to get the tommy gun. 

Next morning they took him north, but not to the torture 
chamber. Because of the well-kept secret of Inchon, United 
Nations armies were pushing them toward the Yalu and The 
General learned that they "were fleeing. First they took me 
up to Pyongyang. Then to Huichon, Mampo, and on the 27th 
of October they took me across the Yalu into [neutral?] 
China for four days. They re-crossed the night of the 30~31st 
about midnight back to Mampo. On the 12th of January they 
started me down to the Pyong area, and I stayed there the 
rest of the war/' 

Nor in the end did his trial as a war criminal ever take 
place, although The General believes they planned it and 
therefore kept him for three years not only in solitary, but 
carefully concealed even from their Chinese allies. What 
their real reason was, the West may never know. 

In his own clear eyes The General is no hero, for "having 
been a prisoner entitles a soldier to no more than the right 
to clear himself of suspicion that his capture was the result 
of his own treachery, cowardice, or misconduct." The man 
who tried to die to save Inchon feels that "I wouldn't give 
myself a wooden star for what I did in Korea." 

Our Treatment of Theirs 

ON the day that the Communist interrogators 
started their flight northward with their captive General, 
neutral IRC Delegate Frederick Bieri, moving also north 
in the wake of the victorious UN armies, was in Taegu in- 


specting the 64th US Field Hospital, because it was treating 
80 POWs and "more were being brought in." He watched 
them eating a meal, found the "issue good and ample. Two 
with heads bandaged from napalm burns . . . comrades 
feeding them with a spoon through slits in the region of 
their mouth." Of two POWs dying of tetanus he watched 
"one having a transfusion (USA blood )" and found that 
"The U.S.A. doctors are animated with the desire to do 
everything possible in the interest of their patients." 

We next find this careful Swiss inspecting the United 
Nations prisoner stockade at Inchon, by now (November 
8th) swollen to 32,107 captives including (this was surely 
strange! ) seven Chinese. He noted all had "sufficient blan- 
kets, comforters and wraps." He checked their food to make 
sure that it was the standard army ration given by South 
Korea to her troops, and found it included each day: 

Rice 5 hops (26 oz.) 
Barley .5 ** 

Fish or canned meat 1 pound per 10 men 
Kokochon (Korean pepper sauce) 1 " ** " " 

Rice flour 3 pounds per 9 men 

Seaweed leaf 3 per man 

Cigarettes 10 " 

There was also a cash allowance to buy fresh things in the 
local markets. In the warehouse he saw "tinned tuna, codfish, 
sauerkraut, milk (from USA), rice, corn, salt, onions, garlic, 
unsalted radish [daikon] and dried fish." His report noted 
that "many arrive in a semi-starved condition [from hiding 
before capture] . . . delegate saw a group whose bodies 
resembled skeletons" and while among these there were 102 
deaths, "none were due to lack of medicaments." He found 
that their captors had allowed the prisoners to organize 
themselves and that these "companies, battalions and regi- 
ments of POWs have proved their value." The mess lines 


formed with "neither confusion nor noise. Each man got his 
share. * . , There were no UN guards in sight. Everything 
was done by the POWs/' As for the small UN staff, "all 
concerned do their utmost/ 7 wrote Delegate Bieri, "to com- 
ply with the Geneva Convention. The stockade is ... a very 
good one." 

Two days later he was visiting a stockade of 10,468 North 
Korean prisoners and ( again! ) two Chinese, near the recently 
fallen North Korean capital city of Pyongyang. He found this 
10,000 eating the "normal basic ration 7 * which soon would 
be divided into "3 hot meals a day/' Further, "all have 
received issues of military uniforms from abandoned stocks. 
Each ... is properly fitted and has wool blankets/ 7 

And although the authorities themselves felt the camp was 
"not yet in perfect order," still he predicted that "results will 
be excellent, judging by what it has been possible to do in 
a few days." Delegate Bieri signed this report and forwarded 
it to Geneva, where they sent it on to what little by then 
was left of North Korea. It was never acknowledged. 

Our Treatment of Theirs: 

Now in this autumn of 1950 we found after 
Inchon's noose had been tightened that we had taken about 
60,000 prisoners, so gentle that they could be marched to the 
rear in almost unguarded regiments. But a surprising number 
startled us by asking when we were going to give back their 
guns, so that they could join in fighting the Communists. 


Those who thought they knew Asia best pointed out that 
"turning around" prisoners arming them to fight their for- 
mer leaders was an ancient oriental tradition, practiced for 
centuries by China's mainland warlords. Still, these Koreans 
seemed so eager to free their homeland of Communism that 
perhaps it was more than deference to custom. 

Geneva strictly forbade us to give them the guns they 
asked. Yet there are other ways of fighting the Communist 
idea, and Geneva did not bar education, provided there was 
no compulsion. 

And thus sprang from the minds of the Pentagon's 
shrewder intellectuals the "Rehabilitation Project for Pris- 
oners of War," approved by President Truman. It was under 
command of a Marine colonel, but in charge of education 
was Mr. Monta L. Osborne, a civilian employee of GS 15, 
who during the occupation of Japan had been charged with 
the task of picking democratic textbooks for the children of 
that conquered nation a job which ended with the peace 

The Army and in particular Colonel William R. Rob- 
inette, who later worked with him remembers Osborne as "a 
very fine man a teacher with a fullback's shoulders," then 
in his mid-forties, 200 pounds, horn rims, close-cropped hair. 
His background was a decade in the Orient. In World War 
II in the China-Burma-India theater he had worked with the 
Chinese government, and had been discharged as a major. 

Under Osborne the Army took 500 POWs chosen as a cross 
section in age, education, politics, and occupation. Most 
were simple farmers. Then, in dwindling percentages, they 
were laborers, clerks, merchants, and teachers. This test-tube 
sample was assembled near Seoul at Yongdungpo. 

Why were they there? Osborne told those 500 guinea-pig 
POWs that his hope was to show them the Free World's 
viewpoint, which they had never experienced because pre- 


viously they had only known the thought control of Imperial 
Japan, followed, in 1945, by that of the Soviet Union. 

If what they were told puzzled or annoyed them, they 
were free to put questions or to protest. If they disliked any 
or all of his educational program, they were free to stay away 

Propaganda cafeteria style? not even that. For Osborne's 
program contained no sneers at Stalin or scowls at North 
Korean Communism aimed only to show the ways and 
viewpoint of the Free World. 

The US Information Service gave them a weekly transla- 
tion of its news release, and also its magazine, America. 
Newsreels used in Japan to explain Democracy were now 
brought to Korea. But because, although most Koreans speak 
Japanese, many hate their former rulers, the sound tracks 
were disconnected. 

Then one day a projectionist fumbled, and the prisoners 
discovered that those silent movies had Japanese sound. 
Why could they not hear it? 

Osborne answered that we had cut it, lest some be of- 
fended. Would they like to vote on this? More than 95% 
balloted yes. Now Osborne gave them their second lesson IB 
Democracy, which was that the 5% minority which disliked 
Japanese also had its rights. So they said, run it again for 
these with no sound track, but with explainers speaking 

Asked if they wanted religious services, none wanted 
Buddhist, but many requested Christian ministers. The sec- 
ond Sunday, 45 went to Catholic mass and 165 to Protestant 

Various prominent South Koreans cabinet ministers, dip- 
lomats, and educators came down to Yongdungpo to explain 
what was being done to put that country on its feet as a 
functioning democracy. 


There were earnest discussions, and presently 20 prisoners 
were picked to lead a forum. Soon many were rising to tell 
how they had been pulled into the Communist army, what 
the Communists had said the war was about, and what they 
now believed. This took real courage, for both we and they 
then assumed that soon all must go back. 

Monta Osborne's little experiment had lasted only a month 
when it had to be broken up and his 500 moved down to 
Pusan with the rest of the prisoners ( by now we had 100,000) 
to escape that fast-rising Human Sea of Chinese "Volun- 
teers." But at this point Osborne's 500 overwhelmingly 
sought to enlist in the now-retreating South Korean forces, 
and were angry when we told them that this war could be 
no longer theirs, and that they must remain behind wire. 

As we swept the fragments of this little experiment into 
our huge prison camps to the south, we had no idea that 
anything further would come of it. We had learned what 
we wanted to know, which was that North Koreans, once 
exposed to concepts of freedom and fair play, would just 
as eagerly grasp them as had those of the South. 

Like other pieces of seemingly useless information, the 
results of "Rehabilitation Project: POW" were shelved and 
for a time forgotten. It was, however, curious that so few of 
those 500 had wanted to return to North Korea. That we 

With the other 100,000 near Pusan and on Koje-do, their 
winter was as pleasant as any can be, for men behind wire. 
Their hospital, lavish with American drugs, was manned by 
their own Communist doctors, so that it also served as a 
message center. In the later political riots, these patriots 
were to destroy all records, but all prisoners were gaining 
weight since capture, and their death rate, compared with 
the disease death rate of our own UN combat troops, was 
even lower, for syphilis and hemorrhagic fever are endemic 


among Korean civilians, and some UN troops caught them. 

Any differences between the POW diet and that of our 
fighting men had been carefully worked out in the Pentagon 
to meet oriental tastes, and in conformity with Geneva, 
Article 26 of which decrees that "account shall be taken of 
the habitual diet of prisoners." 

Just as certain Oriental delicacies such as fragrant stewed 
dog, pickled seaweed, and octopus tenderly simmered in its 
own ink lack for Western appetites an instant appeal, so 
Orientals fail to warm up to some of our strange Western 
dainties. Instead the prisoners got what they wanted, bol- 
stered by plenty of rice, and in late winter all were busy 
planning spring gardens, which would produce an abun- 
dance of tomatoes, potatoes, Chinese cabbage, and cauli- 

Scan now the official report of neutral Swiss IRC Delegate 
Frederick Bieri, who in late November dropped in on our 
POW Camp #1 at Pusan. Here he found 91,662 POWs get- 
ting "3 meals daily" and that "69 tons of rice and barley are 
now transported daily to the camps. " He found that "large 
amounts of winter clothing have already reached Korea'* so 
that, "in Pusan, every POW has received either greatcoats, 
jackets or else warm underwear; many have both/' 

Under "Medical Care" he reports "nutrition: poor on 
arrival, good after 10-14 days." Of more than 3,000 patients 
in the POW hospital, since September 9th only 226 had 
died "of these, most died on arrival." 

Under "Complaints: none. The POW seem content with 
their lot. The finest feature is the first class medical care, 
which is very much appreciated by the POW. The camp 
commanders are all the right men in the right places, who 
do what they can for their charges ... an excellent camp/' 
So for the moment we leave them, but with this final word: 
that later when this pastoral idyll was to change, and bloody 


civil war break out among these prisoners, there was not to 
be the slightest difference between the food we provided 
in Communist and anti-Communist compounds. The Com- 
munists who were to stone our soldiers and kidnap our un- 
wary generals fought us on plump bellies, and smoking their 
daily share of our American cigarettes. 

Their Treatment of Ours: 
The Mareh I 

THE Artillery Lieutenant was captured in this 
wise: he had been acting as liaison officer between his field 
artillery battery and the 8th ROK Division, when the Chinese 
overran their positions one night in bitter winter. For a few 
hours he and the handful of men under him hid behind a 
ridge. An hour or so before dawn they could hear a column 
passing in the valley below, so The Artilleryman sent a man 
down to sneak close, and find out who they were. 

His report was, Americans for sure. You couldn't mistake 
the outline of an American pack or the contour of our hel- 
mets. So The Artilleryman and his handful hastened to 
scramble down onto the road and fall in behind them. It 
seemed a well-organized American outfit that clearly knew 
where it was going, which apparently was to get the hell out 
of this overrun area. This was just what they also wanted 
to do. Where they were headed, he could find out at the 
next halt. 

There was, however, something just a little unusual: fol- 
lowing them in the dark, the clomp of their combat boots 
came back to him more gently than you would think. In the 


slow dawn, he could first make out the unmistakable out- 
lines of American helmets. Then he got a start. For some 
of this outfit had turned to stare, and surely they were Mon- 
golians. He was just wondering if they could be ROKs when 
they opened fire and he was hit nothing much, grenade 

He was soon to learn that those ahead had been a Chi- 
nese outfit, trained in the last war by General Joe Stilwell 
and of course equipped by us still wearing the same GI 
helmets, packs, and fatigues stout US clothing which they 
had later worn all during the Chinese Civil War, fighting on 
the Communist side, except of course for their leather boots, 
which were now replaced by Chinese sneakers. 

With the firing his handful scattered. But it didn't take 
the Chinese long to round them up. There was one last 
weird minute of freedom. They were hiding in a creek bed, 
in which the others had made him lie down in hope that 
the cold water would stop the bleeding from those grenade 
fragments. An unarmed Chinese officer almost blundered 
over the creek bank into his arms. The Artilleryman had 
whipped out his .45, had taken a bead right between the 
Chinaman's eyes, but then (you won't believe this) had sud- 
denly turned chicken. Because, standing there, with that 
scared Ghinaman's eyes looking right into his, he couldn't 
make his finger pull the trigger! Doing it that way, almost 
in cold blood, his finger wouldn't workl 

For a long minute they stood staring into each other's 
eyes, The Artilleryman twitching his hand to make that 
trigger finger work. Then those with him started yelling at 
him to drop the gun and surrender, and one finally came up 
and he let him knock it out of his hand. 

Because the truth was the Chinese were swarming like 
ants all around this creek bed in which .they 'had been hiding; 
one shot would have brought a hundred on the run. The 


Americans wouldn't have had a chance in ten to get away. 

A few minutes later the Chinese had led them to a Chinese 
command post where no one seemed to speak English, The 
Artilleryman cursing himself for having got them into this, 
first because he hadn't gone down himself to make sure 
that was really an American column, and secondly because 
his trigger finger had gone chicken. For if they had made a 
break then, surely some of them might have got away. 

Then a Chinese officer, standing in front of him, took a 
pistol stance and a bead on him, and The Artilleryman, 
knowing this was at last it, stood straight. And shut his eyes. 

Now The Artilleryman says that other people who thought 
their last moment had come have said later that during it 
they had thought of their mothers. Others of their wives. 
Or of other loved ones. Or the state of their souls. 

But during his, remembering how his dumb blunders had 
got them into this, all he could think of, standing there in 
that compound with his eyes shut, was, "This is a piss-poor 
way to die." 

After a while he heard the Chinese laughing. So he opened 
his eyes. The officer had put his pistol back in its holster. 
After another while an English-speaking Chinese came over 
to them, and said they were not to be killed, because of the 
Chinese Lenient Policy. The Artilleryman asked them what 
this was. 

"It is lenient because we do not kill you. So long as you 
cooperate, you will live/* 

Then The Artilleryman, who during his World War II 
service had been drilled in the Geneva Convention, asked 
if the rules were the same. 

He was told the Lenient Policy was better, and that the 
Geneva Convention was a capitalist, war-mongering, bour- 
geois document they did not accept. 

He answered that Kim II Sung himself had said North 
Korea would abide by Geneva's spirit. 


He was told that this was Kim ITs business, but it did 
not apply to them, as they were Chinese volunteers. When 
they now passed out long questionnaires, another American 
tried to tell them about the Geneva Convention, which says 
a prisoner need only give his name, rank, and serial number. 
The Chinese said it was all right to give more; that even 
American majors had done it. The Artilleryman however 
confined himself to that minimum. For the time being, he 
got away with it. 

Then they were all moved into a schoolhouse, where there 
were about 300 ROK prisoners of the 8th ROK Division who 
had been rounded up that morning. Among them were a 
dozen ROK nurses, and one Korean boy whom The Artillery- 
man recognized as a kid who spoke English and had some- 
times interpreted for him. The boy came over. 

Then some North Korean guards came in, led by a very 
sharply dressed North Korean staff officer. He began talking 
to the ROK soldiers. 

The boy said it was a recruiting speech. The South 
Korean prisoners were being given a choice either of being 
turned over to the North Korean Security Police, to be tried 
for treason against the Korean people, or they could vol- 
unteer to join the forces of the Korean People's Army to 
drive out the American invaders and aid in the unification of 
Korea. He asked for a show of hands. 

What The Artilleryman then saw needed no interpretation. 
The South Koreans, scared, first mumbled a little, but a lot 
of hands were raised. None of the nurses raised their hands. 
The officer now took a tommy gun from one of his guards, 
grasping its thin muzzle in his right fist. Then, stepping 
over to the nearest nurse, The Artilleryman says he beat the 

out of her, bashing her face with the butt end of that 

gun until her nose was mashed flat, and her cheek laid open. 
Then the officer stopped, and looked around the room. All 


hands were up now, including the nurses*. The English- 
speaking kid, who also raised his, whispered he was going 
to desert back to the ROKs the first chance he got. 

After this, the guards distributed an issue of rice and 
tobacco among the new volunteers. None was given the 
Americans, who had not been invited to help unify Korea. 
Then the new recruits were taken away. 

Late that afternoon they were joined in the schoolhouse 
by about 40 more American prisoners, half of them walking 
wounded and not in good condition. Then all of them were 
started on a three-mile walk to a collecting center for 
American prisoners of war, where they would spend the 
night. It had a room so tiny that only about half could get 
inside. Our boys decided preference should be given to the 
more seriously wounded. Although it was about 20 below, 
those left outside were not allowed to build a fire. Presently 
a rice bag full of boiled soya beans was brought in. They ate 
with their hands. Then more American officers arrived. Their 
new Chinese guards now frisked everyone, taking rings and 

The night was terrible. The Artilleryman spent it walking 
up and down, beating his arms to keep circulation going. 
Next morning they found one of the men outside frozen stiff 
as marble. He had not been wounded, but had made the 
fatal mistake of lying down to sleep in moist hay when his 
clothes were wet with sweat. 

Then the Chinese brought them in another rice bag, this 
one full of whole-kernel field corn which had been boiled in 
the sack. Since there was not enough to go around, they 
decided that the wounded inside should get theirs first, with 
the cold people who had spent the night outside dividing 
what was left. 

But one unwounded soldier came running into the room 
and stuck his hand in the bag. 


"No God-damned officer is going to tell me what to do," 
he said. 

Now The Artillery Lieutenant, who had only a flesh 
wound, knocked him sprawling. Then the enlisted men 
picked him up and got hold of him. 

"Who in hell hit me!" he said. 

"One of those God-damned officers you were talking 
about," said The Artilleryman. That ended it. 

The Chinese told them they were to be moved an- 
other two miles to a still larger collecting center, so they 
rigged up stretchers out of rice bags tied to poles, for their 
wounded, including one officer with a bad leg wound. No 
doctor had arrived, and the Chinese who searched them had 
lifted their first-aid kits. But a Negro medic produced some 
hydrogen peroxide which probably saved his life. 

Our Treatment of Theirs 


Dec. 6th, 1950 
Inspection Report 

Camp: U.S.A. 10th Corps Collecting Center. 

Location: Hamhung. 

Strength: 153 North Korean POWs, 9 Chinese. 

Food: Two meals daily, standard army rations. 

Medical Care: Large heated cell with cots used as sick bay. 

All wounded comfortable under their multi- 
colored Korean covers. 

General Remarks: POW appear contented. Conditions very 

Frederick Bieri 
IRC Delegate Inspector 


Their Treatment of Ours: 
The March II 

CARRYING the wounded on stretchers, they next 
arrived at what turned out to be the take-off point for the 
long inarch to a temporary holding pen near Pyongyang, 
which they were later to learn was called by American 
prisoners the "Bean Camp," 300 air-miles from where they 
were captured. 

They were now told the wounded must be left, including 
the officer with the leg wound. Some said, let's carry him 
anyway. Others said that the Chinese might kill him if it 
slowed the pace. 

They now met a Chinese who introduced himself as Com- 
rade Liyu and said he was to lead them on their march. He 
was a political commissar in the outfit which had captured 
them. This, they learned, was the 17th Regiment of the 
Chinese 4th Route Army, still using the American helmets, 
fatigues, packs, and rifles they had been given when they 
were trained under Stilwell, for whom Liyu said he had a 
great admiration. 

Liyu promised that at the end of the march north they 
would find a wonderful prison camp concrete barracks, elec- 
tric lights, and books. The Artilleryman thinks Liyu believed 
it. Liyu also put their senior ranking officer, a Lieutenant 
Colonel, in charge. There were, at the start of the march, 
320 Americans, of whom 17 were officers. These, Liyu said, 
were to march at the head of the column. And there was to 
be no mingling with the men. 

Even by day the winter cold was bitter. Because of our 


planes, traffic behind enemy lines now moved only by night. 
A march would begin at dusk. Just before dawn, when they 
would halt to sleep for the day in some Korean stable, the 
temperature would usually fall to 20 degrees below zero. 

For the first few days, while they were in the area of 
the Chinese combat armies, the food often included some 
rice, and so was not bad. Beyond this zone they got largely 
cracked corn, and in quantity, the ration seemed to be 
whatever their Chinese guards could persuade the Korean 
villagers to sell. Occasionally (while they were still in South 
Korea) it was decent. About as often it was nothing at all. 
It was plain that neither the Chinese nor the Koreans had 
made any real arrangements for feeding them. Except that 
their Chinese guards were always well fed. Furthermore, of 
these only stocky (and well-fed) Comrade Liyu was able 
to make the trip as far as Chorwan Valley, in spite of 
the limp which, he was proud to explain, he had got fighting 
the Japanese under Stilwell. The other guards worked relays, 
and were replaced by fresh men every few days. 

If, when they passed through a Korean village, there 
was enough light, the guards would rouse the villagers to 
see the American prisoners. Most loyal South Koreans had 
fled south with our armies, and those left would only stare. 
Later in North Korea the children would stone the prisoners, 
or spit at them. 

They got water only once every 24 hours at dawn, when 
they stopped for the day's sleep. Typically the 17 officers 
would be crowded into one room, so that no one could 
stretch out. But it was as well, for often the only heat was 
their body warmth. 

In the early days, passing through South Korea, the people, 
secretly friendly, would often feed the prisoners well rice, 
cabbage soup, daikon (a turnip-radish), and peppers. But 
once over the 38th parallel it was cracked corn, sometimes 


not even that. The kernels were only splintered, not ground. 
The boiling left sharp edges. To this pig-mash they would 
add a little soya-bean paste as a binder, so that it could be 
squeezed into the shape of a baseball. One of these at dawn, 
when they turned in after a night's march, was dinner. 
Another at dusk, when they were awakened, was breakfast. 
Typically that was all. 

The Artilleryman points out that each baseball contained 
no more than 800 calories, and they were being marched 
40 miles a night. Not even a Korean, he says, could live on 
that. Also often it lacked salt, which may be why, after a 
few days, some of the men began going off their rockers. A 
soldier would start screaming or shouting in the column. 
Unless the others could quiet him, a guard would bash him 
with a rifle butt and, if he could not get up, the column 
would march off, leaving him in the road. 

Now some kind of diarrhea began, maybe from eating dirty 
snow or scooping up ditchwater on the march: it was hard 
to stop them. Soon all had it, and the sharp splinters of that 
half-cooked corn, tearing away at their gut linings, made it 
worse. The men were allowed no halts to relieve themselves 
during those ten marching hours. All were getting weak. 
But you hoarded what strength you had to run up to the 
head of the marching column, take down your pants, and be 
done and back in the marching line before you were over- 
taken by the rearguard who, if he found you still squatting, 
would knock you sprawling with his rifle butt, to be left to 
freeze in the dark. 

In addition, vitamin shortages gave part of them night 
blindness The Artilleryman got it. When the sun is down 
all is inky black, and you have to hang onto someone to keep 
your place in the column. Once when it was just getting light 
and they were crossing a high bridge without siderails over 
a frozen torrent, a kid who had it bad wandered over the 


edge. After a bit they heard him hit. The guards would let 
no one step out of line to see if it was on ice or rocks. But 
since the drop had been about 70 feet, maybe it didn't 

The only breaks they got were when their guards would 
drive them to the side of the road, as an armed column 
was passing on its way down to the fighting. If it was North 
Korean, The Artilleryman noted (before his night blindness 
got bad) that its equipment was always 100% Soviet. But 
if Chinese, then usually it would be Jap stuff used in World 
War II, grabbed by the Russians in Manchuria and turned 
over to the Chinese Communists. Stuff which in the last five 
years had been used to drive Chiang Kai-shek out of China 
(our arms embargo was on). It now was being used against 
us. One night he counted 500 Jap field pieces rolling by 
a model he knew well from the other war. It had a mule- 
drawn caisson, but was a decent piece of equipment. 

Another night they were pulled off the road to let a 
Chinese column pass and, since the soldiers were on their 
way to the front, the Americans gave an ironical cheer for the 
"Chinese Volunteers." 

One officer stopped and looked right at them. "I am 
Chinese/' he said in English with hardly an accent, 'l)ut I am 
no volunteerl" 

Still later Liyu explained why he came to Korea. His 
Commander, answering their government's appeal, had "vol- 
unteered" their entire regiment. 

On those night marches when The Artilleryman thought 
at all, it was why he had been so stupid as to get captured. 
But more often he was so weary that putting one foot ahead 
of the other was all the thinking he was up to. Often at die 
end of the night he would come out of a dream world, to 
realize he remembered nothing of what had happened since 
they started at dusk. The column marched in silence. Except 


now and then a wounded man would moan a little. Or some- 
one would mutter how thirsty he was. Or how tired. 

Orders were no wounded could be carried, so the men 
strove to keep on their feet and going. One man with no 
feeling but pain in his badly frozen feet often would stumble. 
Then the Chinese guard would bash him brutally in the 
back of the head. They would also do it to anyone who 
coughed. This frightened the others. Did the Chinese want 
to rid themselves of the weak who were slowing the march? 
Then they might do it to anyone who even groaned, or had 
an open wound. The Artilleryman had held the lips of his 
open wound together, so that it would not bleed and attract 

Carefully they studied the Chinese guards. Their brutality 
might not be just senseless. Maybe the guards were follow- 
ing rules the Americans did not understand. At the head of 
the column Liyu often would praise Stilwell, insisting that 
Chinese soldiers trained by this great general were better 
fighters by far than American troops. 

In the early part of The March, when their strength was 
still fairly high, The Artilleryman and two other officers 
figured they might take off, along with an enlisted man who 
spoke Japanese, which Korean adults understood. Whispered 
along the column, this plan finally reached the American 
colonel's ear. He passed word back that if anyone left, the 
Chinese might shoot everyone else in the column, so no one 
should try. He said if anyone did escape and live, he would 
see that they were court-martialed when they got home to 
the States. 

The colonel's threat was empty. But none could foresee 
that of the 320 who had started this march hardly a third 
would ever live to see the Yalu (the final camp for UN 
Prisoners), that of their 17 officers only four would survive 
captivity, or that the colonel himself was to die in a Commu- 


nist interrogation camp. Perhaps it was as well they could 

The column was getting shorter. Each dusk when the 
night march began, some were too weak to get up. Others 
collapsed on the road and were left in their tracks. Still 
others, knocked down by guards, were too weak to rise. 
Perhaps some may have taken off, trying to escape. But if so, 
The Artilleryman says that no one in the column knew it. 
Nor were they ever heard of again. 

One morning they were moved into a Korean village to 
sleep for the day. Just before dusk they heard a flight of our 
F-80s, saw them peeling off and coming down to strafe, so 
all took cover. The planes made 10 or 12 passes. "The build- 
ing we were in/' says The Artilleryman, "started to burn. 
In our room, one officer was killed, and another hit below 
the eye by a bullet which came out his other cheek and 
made a crease in my jacket. A whole bunch of enlisted men 
in the next room were all shot up/ 7 

When the planes left and they let them come out of the 
burning building, they could see the whole valley burning 
in the twilight. And hear it exploding. For they had been 
housed in a Chinese ammunition dump. In the compound 
or against each building was a loaded and camouflaged 
Russian truck. 

Geneva forbids quartering prisoners near military tar- 
gets, and requires that their camps be marked so that they 
may be seen from the air. So some of the officers now raised 
hell with Liyu about this. 

Liyu was sorry, but, "So long as American aircraft indis- 
criminately bomb peaceful Korean villages, these things will 

It was the same when they protested about food their 
daily baseballs. 

"Your planes are destroying Korea's food," he would an- 
swer. True, we were getting their supply columns. But, 


because the Americans feared Liyu, they dared not point out 
that he and his guards were well fed, as were the Chinese 
combat outfits they passed on the way to the front. 

In these, each man carried his rations in a sack about the 
length and thickness of a woman's stocking, which he wore 
draped around his neck like a scarf. One end was weighed 
down with rice, the other with ration cans of beef or pork. 
No one expected Chinese fighting men to march on boiled 
cracked corn. 

They did, however, persuade Liyu to abandon the com- 
pulsory calisthenics he had insisted on every evening the 
first week. Already men were dropping out, and, 'TTouTI 
wear the men out before ever we get to camp, 7 * they tad 

One night they passed a column of ROK prisoners, under 
guard as were they and in as bad shape, but "they tried to 
beg from us, 5 ' says The Artilleryman, "still sure all American 
soldiers must have candy bars and cigarettes." 

Our proud American spirit was going fast: what broke it? 
Very probably the food. We are what we eat and, like lab- 
oratory animals studiously misfed, our men were now but 
half alive. All were bitter about being captured. A few (and 
The Artilleryman thinks these were the healthiest) blamed 
themselves: the others blamed someone else. Most were too 
weak to quarrel. The enlisted men were not insolent to the 
officers; just passive. If the officers hadn't washed out, they 
felt, they wouldn't be here. 

The company-grade officers blamed the field-graders and, 
marching together at the head of the column, there was 
occasional bickering and sharp back-answering. The field- 
graders blamed the top brass for fouling things up. The top 
brass shoved this buck along back to the Pentagon. So it 

Finally the Chinese announced they might cany their 
wounded, instead of leaving them to freeze. This meant 


they were getting near the camp. Stretchers were now rigged 
out of empty rice sacks and poles. Then they found they 
couldn't get the enlisted men to carry stretchers. An order 
meant noting; the men would silently walk away. 

Each was living alone in his little private hell of fear that, 
if he gave his dwindling strength to someone else, maybe 
tomorrow he would be left to freeze in the dark. Sometimes 
(rarely) one would consent to carry a sick buddy from his 
own squad. 

So all of it fell on the officers, and particularly the junior- 
graders the majors insisting that they were too frail. The 
marching column included one Britisher a tough old ser- 
geant-major from a veteran regiment. The Artilleryman says 
he was "all man." He would carry stretchers, but was furious 
that he could get no one to relieve him. 

*Tve always hated you God-damned Yanks"he shouted 
at the column <c but I never knew why until now. You won't 
even carry your own wounded!" 

Weak as they were, says The Artilleryman, carrying 
stretchers was terrible work. There was little meat left on 
your shoulders, and those poles would rub to the bone. An 
liour of it and you could hardly totter. The litters were put 
at the head of die column partly because only officers would 
carry them, but also in hope that it would slow the pace. 
But this the Chinese would not allow: the guard kept raising 
liell with them. 

After three days of it, they arrived at the "Bean Camp." 
Had they been on the march two weeks, or was it three? 
While their point of capture was only 300 air miles away, 
the back roads and twisting trails they followed could almost 
have doubled this distance. They knew only that of the 320 
men who had started The March, 120 had now arrived. And 
these 120 had lost from 60 to 90 pounds each since capture. 

The others? Days or weeks later, a few drifted in, But of 
these, not one lived to return to America. They would hob- 


ble in, skin and bones. Then presently they would die. The 
young lieutenant who had been shot through the face in 
that American air strike on the Chinese ammunition dump 
crawled in a clicking skeletonhis skin one huge purple 
bruise from beating. He was able to tell them that he had 
stayed around the dump three or four days and then, when 
no one came, he had tried to take off back to our lines. He 
had got close to the front when he was recaptured. He said 
they hadn't fed him on the trip up. He told them this in the 
first 24 hours. Then he died. 

Our Treatment of Theirs 

COLLECTING and moving prisoners is a problem 
for any army. Glance now at what was happening to the 
prisoners in our hands, during this terrible winter of 1950-51. 
Frederick Bieri, still looking for something to complain 
about, as was his duty as protector of prisoners, had moved 
on to visit (on February 15) the UN transit POW camp at 
recently captured Chungju. Again his report to Geneva: 

Strength: 222 POWs of whom 20 Chinese. 60 POWs 

were just leaving the camp in a truck en 
route for Pusan. Each had a blanket. 

Accommodations: Camp opened in destroyed city ... in re- 
mains of local prison. North Korean major 
had a cell to himself. Sufficient blankets. 

Food: Usual ration ... no complaints . . . three 

Chinese POWs asked for some more rice 
. . . which was immediately supplied. 

General Remarks: Cells clean, camp efficiently run. 


Onward, now, with neutral Delegate Bieri to the UN 
transit camp at Taejon, where he found: 

Strength: 452 POWs of which 91 Chinese. On the 

day of visit 441 POWs were shipped. Our 
delegate watched at the station. The POWs 
traveled in boxcars. Drinking water in jerry- 
cans, and sufficient food for 6 days was on 
the train. A Korean doctor traveled with 

Complaints: None. The treatment is fair and correct. The 

Korean POWs, as well as the Chinese, seem 

The Bean Camp I 

THE 120 who had survived the March now got a 
chance to look around. The Bean Camp ( so named by our 
troops because of the diet) was a collecting center for POWs 
on their way up to the final camps on the Yalu banks. It was 
about 40 miles southeast by east of the North Korean capital 
of Pyongyang, and was within half a mile of a main supply 
road. Since it was unmarked, it was continually bombed, but 
for a long time was not hit. 

It had been an old mining camp. The shaft was about a 
mile away and the prisoners lived in what had been barracks 
for laborers. Each room was about eight feet square and 
eight or ten men were put in it. 

The first hour they were there, one of the men recognized 
the place; took them to one room and pointed to where his 
initials were carved. He was an Australian-born British regu- 
lar who in World War II had been captured by the Japs at 


Rabaul in 1941, and had spent four years here. At the pros- 
pect of spending more years in this place he now went off 
his rocker. But The Artilleryman says he was a very good 
man who eventually straightened out. 

They were the first to arrive but presently more groups 
came in, some in better shape than others, but with the same 
story of a long, hard march. And although men kept dying 
"we buried between 125 and 150 in the six weeks we were 
there/* says The Artilleryman new groups kept building it 
up until there were about 700 still living when the captors 
decided to abandon the Bean Camp. 

A Chinese commander was in charge, and under him a 
dozen English-speaking Chinese, each one looking after a 
row of barracks. However, the Chinese used the unoccupied 
part of the barracks to house their own troops moving down 
to the front. Our men would look hungrily at those ration 
bags slung around their necks, plump with rice and canned 
beef or pork. 

The camp was so named because the ration was two daily 
cakes of a mixture compounded of soya bean, whole-kernel 
corn, millet, and kaoliang (unsweet sorghum used in Amer- 
ica to feed cattle). 

This would be boiled. Neither the soya beans nor the corn 
were ever cooked enough. It would then be squeezed in a 
mold to make cakes about two and a half inches thick and 
two inches wide; you got one twice a day. 

"They were still moist and crumbly, like the baseballs we 
got on The March. I never saw a Korean or a Chinese eat 
this stuff," says The Artilleryman. "It was just an easy way 
of throwing it together to feed prisoners." 

At night they got, in addition, half a pint of soya-bean 
soup saltless, as were the cakes. Water came from con- 
taminated wells, which did not help things, and now, what 
with weakness and this diet, came a frightening rise in 
pneumonia deaths. 


If neutral Delegate Bieri had been permitted to inspect 
the Bean Camp, he might have noted (to the credit of the 
Chinese) that they had reserved a special soft diet for the 
sick, consisting of boiled millet plus some preserved turnips 
which, if not tasty, contained precious salt and minerals for 
which the men were starved. 

Since all were sick, half the camp began getting in sick 
line to get this better food. So the diet went to those strong 
enough to line up, while the sickest lay quietly in their 
rooms. Sometimes a man would say he was carrying food 
to a sick buddy, but would eat it himself. So there was never 
enough for the sickest, and many languidly died. 

Cooking was in charge of a special UN nationality group 
(French) appointed by the Chinese. They would sell pris- 
oners extra food, taking tobacco, fountain pens, and wrist 
watches that had been overlooked. These they would trade 
to the Korean guards for sorghum candy, which they ate 
themselves. All the cooks were plump. 

Our American organization? The Chinese had broken it 
up, and put in none of their own. Our officers (their number 
grew to 40) were segregated from the men, forbidden even 
to talk to them. The senior colonel himself was sick. If in this 
situation it was American dog-eat-dog, the Chinese did not 
care. Or maybe had planned it so. 

For the 4035 who had pneumonia, the Chinese provided no 
treatment. The only medicine they offered was "a mixture 
of gunpowder with charcoal made from baked dog-bones" 
for diarrhea, which for a while, says The Artilleryman, "at 
least put a plug in you. But when you did cut loose, that 
plug tore your guts right out.** 

Fires were allowed, and those who could walk were put 
on a wood detail, climbed seven miles under guard up a 
pass just over which the Chinese had a firewood dump. 
Here each man got a piece of rope, 30 or 40 pounds of scrub- 


oak logs were tied to his back, and then he started down 
those seven miles to the Bean Camp. If a man stum- 
bled or fell, the guards kicked him until he either got up or 
was dead. "Many/* says The Artilleryman, "died this way." 

One morning a flight of our F-51s, flying over the Bean 
Camp, spotted those Chinese combat uniforms and came in 
strafing, "shot up a whole mess of them," says The Artillery- 
man, "and about as many of us. Then within an hour, doctors 
arriveda Korean team from an army medical unit stationed 
in the hospital at the head of that gold mine, only a mile 
away. We had not known they were there. They dressed our 
wounds, set bones, gave morphine, shaved head wounds, 
painted with merthiolate, stitched and bandaged. It was the 
first medical treatment (aside from witch-doctoring) that 
we had seen." 

"The Chinese seemed annoyed that they had discovered 
us. One Japanese-speaking American boy learned from these 
Korean doctors that they would have come long ago, had 
they known we were in need. We never saw them again/' 

Now the men appealed to the camp commander. If this 
was a prison camp, why didn't he remove the Chinese com- 
bat troops and mark it as one, as provided by international 

First, he said he had nothing to mark it with. Our boys 
said they would take care of that. 

Next, he said even if it was marked, the US planes would 
come anyway. The American officers now volunteered to 
stand out in the open compound and wave the planes away. 
This he wouldn't allow. 

"Because," he said, "American prisoners are not entitled 
to special protection so long as these planes are killing 
Koreans and Chinese/* 

But one afternoon around Easter, as they were sitting 
around outside sunning themselves and picking lice, a flight 
of F-80s came in so fast there was no time to take cover, 



"so," says The Artilleryman, "we all stood up and waved at 

A wonderful thing happened. "One of those American 
planes peeled off from formation to look us over, and made 
five passes low, the pilot rocking its wings right over our 
camp. It was his way of waving to usas good as a letter 
from home." 

Our Treatment of Theirs 

MEANWHILE neutral Red Cross Delegate Frederick 
Bieri is inspecting Communist sick and wounded in the 
8076th Surgical Field Hospital, then at Chungju in South 



Medical Supplies: 
General Remarks: 

. . . Well heated and equipped with every- 
thing necessary for fuU and modern treat- 
ment of wounded or sick. Most patients 
X-rayed. All 5 operating tables were in use 
as our Delegate passed through. Patients 
shipped south by air as soon as possible. 

POW and UN treated alike; no distinction 
made. Most arrive 5 days after being 
wounded and following field hospital treat- 
ment. Commandant of POW transit camp 
said they were most cooperative on all POW 

Plentiful, sufficient for all emergencies. 

An extremely well-run hospital, patients re- 
markably quiet. One POW was complaining 
about a pain in his chest. He was told he 
would first be X-rayed and then attended to. 



Delegate Bieri then moved on to the United Nations POW 
Camp #1 where he inspected (22 Feb 51) the Communist 
Officers Compound: 

Accommodations : 



2,175 officers, including 24 Chinese. 
Tents with blankets and mats. Space for 
exercise and recreation. Company lines are 
decorated with stones and shrubs. Drinking 
water in each tent. 

Spokesmen thought supplementary ration 
somewhat insufficient. On being informed 
that the calories had been worked out and 
considered sufficient by UN medical author- 
ities, he stated he was satisfied. Admitted 
none were hungry. 

All well-clothedover 17% of the officers 
wearing leather US Army boots. 

For exercise books, pencils, sports gear. Our 
Delegate will issue them soon. 

The officers are well cared for, seem satis- 

Then followed a footnote on the 24 Chinese officers whose 
spokesman "stated the POW were very well satisfied with 
food and treatment. They looked contented and well/* 

Delegate Bieri also paid a surprise visit to Sub-Camp #3 
at Pusan, but found only the same monotonously good con- 
ditions and a spokesman for the Communist prisoners who 
"stated he was satisfied with both food and treatment. No 

To make doubly sure, the Red Cross delegate asked for 
an interview with the North Korean medical officers who 
were looking after their own men. These told him that in 
the camp the general health was "good. No sickness due to 
living conditions in the camp. Medical supplies are good and 



are ample/* By which they surely meant more than gun- 
powder and charred dog-bones. 

A look now (through the neutral eyes of Delegate Bieri) 
at our main bag of Communist prisoners 137,212 of them 
now held in Camp #1 at Pusan, where "great progress had 
been made. All tents in hospital compound (and many 
others) now have liquid fuel stoves." 


From % to 1% arrive malnourished. These 
get supplementary food. Others: good. 

Food and Clothing: 
Medical Care: 

Third Field 

Fourteenth Field 


450 patients, X-rayed on capture, found to 
have TB. Deaths: 25 daily, causes not due 
to camp conditions all seriously ill on ar- 
rival, could not be saved. 

Patients all battle casualties. 60 Chinese 
frostbitten due to inadequate equipment 
(rubber shoes). Many amputations will 
have to be made. 

No complaints on food or treatment. Much 
camp decoration was in evidence. Discipline 
good, treatment fair and correct. 


MEANWHILE Paul Ruegger, head of the Interna- 
tional Red Cross in Geneva, was still striving to get for our 
prisoners in North Korea the benefits of that Red Cross 
inspection which Delegate Bieri was giving Communist pris- 


oners we held in the South. Or aid of any land. There was 
at least new word from Etienne Florian of the Hungarian 
Red Cross, who earlier had accepted "with joy" Geneva's 
offer of a ton of medicines for the ambulance tie Hungarian 
Communists were sending to North Korea. 

But something was changing even here. For Florian now 
only coldly notified Geneva that "the medicines on the en- 
closed list have arrived safely" and "in the name of the 
Korean people struggling for their liberty we thank you 
infinitely." (None of his Communist superiors who read it 
could now accuse him of unorthodoxy. ) 

Ruegger telegraphed the North Korean Red Cross in 
Pyongyang, reminding them that Geneva was forwarding 

SENDING REPRESENTATIVES [and was asking their help, 
particularly in the matter of prisoners' names] . 

No direct answer, but at least the IRC delegate in Hong 
Kong could monitor a Peiping taped broadcast of New Year's 
greetings from Communist-held UN POWs to their families. 
He registered 52 reels, which he put on 36 records to be 
mailed at least these families would now know their sons 
still lived. 

Throwing protocol to the winds and standing on no invi- 
tation, Ruegger cabled the Communist Foreign Minister at 

DISPATCHES. [He announced that he would arrive] 
MENT . . . [He even gave his itinerary, which was] 



At least tliis drew an answer, but it was from the Chinese 
Foreign Minister, to whom he had sent a copy and who 
regretted he was 


That seemed to settle that. 

The Bean Camp II 

AFTER that American F-80 pilot had waggled his 
wings over the Bean Camp, the prisoners had no further 
fear of bombing. Clearly the F-80s had reported the location 
of this unmarked POW camp; word had gone out to let 
them alone. So now when planes passed over the camp, no 
one ran. 

But then, about two weeks later and how do such things 
happen? It could have been a new bunch of pilots. Or maybe 
a briefing officer forgot to give the location of the Bean 
Camp. Or perhaps later recco planes had reported seeing 
only Chinese down there. Anyway, one cold sunny after- 
noon, when a few were outside watching the vapor trails of 
a flight of F-51s, slowly those trails curved. Down they came. 
Roaring in. Blasting the Bean Camp with four rockets. 

"They killed 30 or 35 of us," reports The Tank Lieutenant. 
"One hit our room and the five other officers in it were 
killed. One man was blown to tatters. Two died that night. 


Two others, hearing the noise, had time to get through to 
the kitchen. Being on a lower level, it seemed a likely air- 
raid shelter, but both died crushed by falling debris. Other 
rockets hit a large room packed with enlisted men it was a 

When they could start digging, they pulled out The Tank 
Lieutenant. He had a concussion bleeding at the eyes, ears, 
and nose and also his balance was gone. Even sitting on the 
ground he would suddenly fall over to one side, thinking 
he was still upright. Walking was out of the question. 

The Chinese now decided to clean out the Bean Camp, 
which at this point had built up ( after deducting 150 deaths ) 
to about 700. They left behind only the advanced pneumonia 
cases and those so badly wounded by the rockets they could 
not walk, and started north. 

The Artilleryman, who when he was captured weighed 
150 pounds and was now down to 90, says it was just another 
march like the first. Of the 650 who started it, only 200 
arrived at their final camp on the Yalu banks. But these were 
so weakened that only nine lived through the winter and 
spring famine to get back to America after the war. 


THIS strafing raid placed a further burden on the 
gentle gentlemen of Geneva, where Paul Ruegger of the 
International Red Cross is presently reading a letter from 
the American Consul General in that city. It points out that, 
according to a Peiping broadcast, 

American raiding planes have killed 23 American 
Prisoners of War and wounded another 31 in Prisoner 


of War camps in Korea . . . [with the result that the 
American Consul General had been] instructed by my 
government to ask if a further approach can be made 
to the North Koreans., with specific reference to the 
Geneva Convention concerning the placement and 
marking of Prisoner of War camps, and notification as 
to their location . . . 

R. E. Ward, Jr., 
American Consul 

Summarizing this to Pak Hen in Pyongyang, IRC Presi- 
dent Ruegger invited his attention (in French) to the fact 
that the Geneva Convention's Article 23 stipulates that all 
prison camps should be marked with the "lettres PG ou PW 
de fafon tres visible." He also asked for a list of the prisoners 
who had been killed, so that their families could be notified. 
He further assured Pak Hen that he was at their disposition 
to transmit to the Americans any reply they cared to make. 

They cared to make none to anyone. 

A few weeks later the unrebuff able Ruegger is telegraph- 
ing them, "sur demande des Autorit6s Americaines" the 
latitude and longitude of seven well-marked United Nations 
prison camps in South Korea, so that no Communist plane 
would, by mistake, kill a Communist prisoner. It was never 

What was the United Nations* behavior in respect to 
Article 23? Turning now to Red Cross Delegate Bierf s in- 
spection of our installations at Koje-do and Pusan, we find 

All compounds are marked PW in white or yellow. During a 
flight over the enclosures, our Delegate observed these mark- 
ings. Very satisfactory. 

This was reported to Pak Hen. Since he knew his men 
were safe, why should he care about ours? 


Pak's Palace 

THE Tank Lieutenant was one of those left in the 
Bean Camp, which may be why he lived to tell what next 
happened. Because of the concussion his memories are not 
too clear. He remembers being put in a truck. He was told 
it was taking them to a hospital. In it were five other officers, 
all ranking Air Force people. Since some had been recently 
captured, you could call them almost plump. None were 
bandaged or looked particularly sick. But, because of the 
concussion, this did not then strike him as curious. 

The ride down is a blank, and the next he remembers is 
being bedded down in a large building which had been the 
headquarters of a Japanese brickworks. You could see the 
kilns about 300 yards away, and near them the workmen's 
barracks where prisoners now lived. 

Next morning, hanging to a railing, he stepped outside for 
a breath of air and was amazed to see his old commanding 
officer walking along. 

"Why hello, sir!" said The Tank Lieutenant "What are 
you doing here in the hospital?" 

The C.O. gave him a strange look. 

"This is no hospital," he said, and walked quickly on. This 
turned out to be rigjit, but The Tank Lieutenant says you 
should have a run-down on this C.O. 

He had come up from the National Guard to a staff job 
under a big-name general during World War II because he 
was smart, likable, and hard-working. His desk was always 
clean. Everything was in the right baskets. 

And don't think (says The Tank Lieutenant) that such a 


staff job is just planning dinner parties; this officer had actu- 
ally conducted visiting Congressmen up to where shots 
(although distant) could be heard when fired in genuine 

Because through this big-name general he had met and 
become liked by all the brighter people in exactly those 
West Point classes soon to become the most pivotal, wisely 
he stayed on in the army. 

After five years of rapid advancement, the fact that he had 
never handled troops under fire, rose as a block to further 
promotion. Korea seemed made to order. Presently he ar- 
rived in charge of a tank unit. 

On the scene he was disarmingly frank. While wars were 
of course won by weapons, logistics, and staffwork, he was 
not one of those who wrote off this insistence on actual 
combat experience as old-fashioned nonsense. 

He was not here, he had told them, only to get a dirty job 
over and out of the way so that there could be no question 
about that general's star before he was 40. For there was, 
he explained, really something to a combat command. And 
he wanted it later on record that he actually had handled 
one well. 

His personal bravery sometimes alarmed them. True, he 
was unmarried, and a decoration would help on his fitness 
report. But that last reconnaissance mission he had led him- 
self, up a narrow canyon, leaving the infantry flank cover 
far behind. No one could say he had exceeded orders. Nor 
had it been just grandstanding. For, had they come through, 
the pay-off to us, in that particular situation, would have 
been considerable. 

It still came under the head of a calculated risk. For sta- 
tistically no one could have predicted that a Chinaman with 
a potato-masher grenade would be sitting behind that par- 
ticular rock, to smash the left track of the lead tank. Nor that 


other Chinese, with a mortar, would appear out of nowhere 
to immobilize the column. So there they were, with nothing 
to do but come out with their hands up. Their C.O. had 
done everything bravely and brilliantly by the book. It only 
just happened to come open at the wrong page. 

Arriving at the Bean Camp, the C.O. had immediately 
sought out someone of suitable authority. 

"You can't do this to me!" he had pointed out to the 
Chinese camp commander. By way of proof he had given a 
brief resume of his high connections and staff experience. 
The camp commander's attitude had changed. He now lis- 
tened with deferential attention. Fifteen minutes later they 
had jammed the C.O. in a jeep, headed for this brickworks 
which, The Tank Lieutenant was soon to learn, was Pak's 
Palace, North Korea's interrogation center. 

Was it really a hospital? If so, when were the doctors 
coming? The Tank Lieutenant says the North Koreans kept 
putting them off. Meanwhile they revelled in the food, which 
was wonderful after the Bean Camp. The soup was not just 
hot water, but sometimes had nourishing dog-meat in it. 
Rice, too. And all you wanted of both. Even a tobacco issue. 
And the very sick could get special foods scrambled eggs, 
even cocoa. 

While there was no medical treatment, it later developed 
that nearby there was an Iron Curtain hospital Romanian, 
Bulgarian, and Hungarian perhaps balancing units which 
the Swedes, Indians, Norse, Italians, Germans, and Danes 
had sent to South Korea. Someone would occasionally jeep 
over from the brickworks to bring back medicines. Now 
actually the need was not enormous. In a few days The 
Tank Lieutenant began to feel much better. The Air Force 
officers who had come with him had not been sick at all. 
So why had they been sent here? 


On the fourth day The Tank Lieutenant found out. They 
came for him, carried him up the front steps (because of 
that balance thing it was a month before he could really 
walk), and propped him in a corner. By keeping one shoul- 
der blade pressed against each angle of the wall, he could be 
sure he was sitting upright and not fall over. True, the room 
seemed to revolve crazily but he was learning to keep a 
stance, at least sitting down. 

Now a uniformed North Korean came, who they said was 
a Major Pak. He was very crisp and sat down opposite with 
a low table between them, on which The Tank Lieutenant 
could brace his arms. This helped with that balance thing. 

Pak handed him a whole batch of handwritten stuff. 

"Read this and tell me if it is true/* he said. "Do not lie to 
me. If you do, I worry about your future," 

The handwriting seemed somehow familiar. As he read, 
Major Pak smoked, but tea was brought for both of them. 
Whoever had written all this had certainly spilled his guts- 
had sung like a canary. The Tank Lieutenant realized he 
was in an interrogation center. The handwritten stuff gave 
everything they would like to know about our tanks. 
Then there was a land of Pentagon Who's Who personality 
sketches of every officer who might get sent out here, and 
just how he made his decisions. At the bottom of the last 
page was his G.O/s signature. As he stared at it, he realized 
that they had brought him to Pak's Palace to cross-hatch 
with this C.O. 

Pushing the stuff back over the table toward Pak, he said, 

"This is written by a top field-grade officer. I'm only a 
lieutenant. I don't know if it*s true or not. But he should." 

For the moment Pak let him think he was satisfied. Then, 
a lot of questions about the guns our tanks carried their 
ranges and the weights of the rounds. 

Now lying is not easy. The Tank Lieutenant knew that 
later they would lead him through the whole thing again* 


He must be sure to remember his lies. So he decided if he 
now transposed the figures on weights with those on ranges, 
he could remember. 

Pak now got very excited. He tossed out a tank manual, 
which of course contained all the dope he had been asking. 
This The Tank Lieutenant now looked through and said yes, 
the stuff here was all okay, only he had got it mixed up be- 
cause of the concussion. 

Pak suddenly leaned over, grabbed up his left hand from 
the table, clamped the end of his middle finger between the 
jaws of a pair of wireman's dikes, and squeezed hard. 

Scared, The Tank Lieutenant involuntarily jerked his hand 
back, leaving in the jaws of those dikes his fingernail and 
also a hunk of meat the size of a pea. Of course he screamed. 
Anyone would scream. 

He now agreed to write out for Pak what he knew about 
tanks, just as the C.O. had done, being sure he could confine 
it to what was in that manual they had already captured. 
Every few days he had a session with Pak, who, says The 
Tank Lieutenant, was schizophrenic. 

He could be very nice like a big brother, give you ciga- 
rettesmost charming until either you lied or refused to 
answer. Then he would go beserk beat you, kick you, swear 
at you. He once threw The Tank Lieutenant not only out of 
the room but down a flight of steps into the courtyard. 

Then he would quickly change to remorse, turn on the 
charm, and apologize for losing his temper, say he couldn't 
control himself, because his family had been killed by our 

A British major told The Tank Lieutenant that this was 
true. In Pyongyang, Pak had seen a 2,000-pound bomb hit 
his house with his sister in it. After that Pak had gone nuts. 

These sessions went on until The Tank Lieutenant had 
written for Pak everything he remembered from the book, 
and convinced Pak he knew no more. Then they moved him 


out of the administration building of this former brickworks 
where, with a few others, he had been living with Pak, down 
to the workman's barracks with the other prisoners. This 
meant he had graduated, although from time to time some 
others would drop in to ask a few questions. 

The Tank Lieutenant thinks he got off easy. For instance, 
later three Americans were able to take off from this com- 
pound with the help of Captain "Spud" Gibbons of the Royal 
Artillery, who had distracted a guard. The Tank Lieutenant 
had watched as Pak drove bamboo splinters under Spud's 
fingernails. Then he wired Spud's middle and index fingers 
together, put a steel rivet between them, and twisted it 

ANY KIND WHATSOEVER . . .-The Geneva Convention 
for the Protection of Prisoners of War. 

and then he took out Spud's penis and scrotum, grabbed 
them tight in his fist, and twisted hard. But Spud would not 
tell Pak which escape route the three had taken. The Tank 
Lieutenant thinks maybe Spud did not know. 

The extra food they had had at first to build them up for 
interrogation now disappeared. The Tank Lieutenant's legs 
began to swell. It was, he later learned, wet beriberi, from 
vitamin shortage. He also had pneumonia, but was still too 
confused to know what it was. 

When Pak had milked his group dry, early in June they 
threw them in a truck and shipped them on up to the per- 
manent Yalu River camps for UN prisoners. The Tank Lieu- 
tenant made this trip with his C.O., who, however much he 
may have talked to Pak, was unusually quiet in the truck. 


The Doctor 

BECAUSE we needed doctors badly they had pulled 
him out of civilian life, flown him over to head a battalion 
aid station with the 1st Cavalry Division. 

When, after the Inchon landings, they could turn north, 
there was for a time little fighting. 

At the 38th parallel they had paused. Their radios told 
them some kind of debate was going on among the United 
Nations. Apparently the buck was being passed to Mac- 
Arthur; they wouldn't quite say he could or could not cross. 
Then the ROKs went over. The next day we followed. But 
still, that actual crossing of the 38th had been an eerie 
feeling. Yet there was no real fighting until we got near 

Once in this former North Korean capital, you would have 
thought the war was over. Our MPs were breaking out with 
white gloves and belts, the officers insisting the men clean 
up garrison life. Even newspapers and magazines began to 
come in, telling of the "MacArthur Line": we might move 
on up to that narrowest neck and just sit there. 

After a week The Doctor's outfit moved on up toward 
Unsan, and bivouacked in a cornfield. It was very quiet. All 
the civilians seemed to have taken off. The Doctor had a 
queer feeling of mounting tension. The battalion which was 
already in Unsan seemed to be having a hell of a fight. 
Wounded were coming in. But you could not hear a sound. 

About midnight The Doctor was told to pack up his aid 
station we might have to fight our way out. And he should 


send on ahead as many of the wounded as he could. Yet it 
was absolutely quiet. Not even a far-away thump. 

So he loaded his track, hitched it to his trailer, was di- 
rected down a side escape-road, but found it blocked by a 
stalled howitzer battery. Wounded were now wandering 
around, trying to get out of the situation, saying they were 
encircled (it turned out to be right), and begging to hitch 
rides on his truck. 

He got permission to unpack enough to dress their wounds. 
Now they heard gunfire, right outside battalion headquar- 
ters. They hoped it was only two American units firing at 
each other by mistake. It wasn't. 

The Doctor set up his aid station in the headquarters dug- 
out, which soon filled up with woundedmaybe 50. When 
he came out next morning he found what was left of the 
outfit had dug shallow trenches around a little perimeter 
they hoped to hold. But the enemy was all around. They 
were only a headquarters company now, plus three tanks, 
a few stragglers and his wounded. 

Early reports over their tanks* radios were that a task force 
was on its way to relieve them. Then at 4 o'clock with 
hardly an hour of daylight left, this force reported it had 
been stopped by a Red roadblock. There was no more hope 
that day. Much later The Doctor learned the task force had 
radioed to them that now they were on their own to fight 
their way out as best they could. 

They were running low on ammo and medical supplies, so 
now the tanks radioed for a parachute drop. About noon the 
next day a helicopter came in, circled low, but didn't land. 
There had been no small-arms fire, but the pilot could see 
the entire circle of the enemy and knew they were holding 
their fire until he was on the ground. 

Finally an observation plane came over and dumped a 
mail pouch full of medical supplies a free-fall, so no plasma 


but The Doctor could now get busy with morphine and 
bandages on his wounded, 

"About noon," he says, "the captain who had taken over 
authority called me in, said they were running out of ammo 
and would have to pull out make a run for it under cover 
of the tanks." 

Somehow this news got out to the wounded. As The Doc- 
tor made his rounds that afternoon, they would say, in low, 
scared voices, "You aren't going to leave us, are you, Doc?" 

The Doctor explains that "I just didn't have the guts to 
leave them." (For this lack of guts The Doctor's wife, pre- 
sumed by the Pentagon to be a widow, presently was sent 
what both she and the Pentagon then thought was a post- 
humous decoration for bravery. ) 

The captain told The Doctor that he was a God-damned 
fool, that he could do nothing, and that very probably he 
would be killed. But if he wanted to stay, the captain would 
not order him out. 

Between them it was agreed that after the others left The 
Doctor would wait an hour, and then try to surrender him- 
self and the wounded. 

All the others about a hundred of them now took off 
under a smoke-screen cover. Then it got very quiet. Appar- 
ently the enemy did not realize everyone else had gone. 

It was also getting dark, and the enemy's usual tactic 
would be to try to rush them during the night. In this case, 
of course, all the wounded probably would be killed. 

To prevent this The Doctor now took off his T-shirt, put 
it on a stick like a flag, and started walking out across those 
shallow, deserted trenches of the perimeter toward the 
enemy, shouting to attract their attention. When he had 
gone about a hundred yards, one of them stood up and 
pointed a gun at him, motioning him to come over. He did, 
and now three others stood up and walked toward him. 


One of them stuck a bayonet into his solar plexus, and 
The Doctor pushed it away. This happened three or four 
times before The Doctor realized the man was only trying 
to tell him to turn around. 

They then led him to a nearby command post, where he 
explained the situation to a boy who spoke a few words of 
English. Then, with a platoon, they took him back to round 
up the wounded now more than a hundred. 

Meanwhile the boy who spoke English seemed to be try- 
ing to explain that they were going to kill him. At last the 
boy got over the idea that this was exactly not what they 
were going to do. He later learned this outfit had been given 
special indoctrination to take as many American prisoners 
as possible, and to treat them well. 

He was moved to a collecting point, and five days later 
a truck took him up to Pyoktong on the banks of the Yalu 
River. After a few days he was moved to a small prison 
camp called the "Valley" about 10 kilometers due south of 
Pyoktong, arriving on November 20, 1950. He was quartered 
here with the officers. The Korean compounds which strag- 
gled along this declivity now held about 750 men, arrived 
either direct from the Bean Camp, or from the interrogation 
center at Suan. 

Among them was another captured American doctora 
Red-Bearded Surgeon, from the Middle Westto share in 
the care of this group. The two were to become close friends. 

In each compound the rooms had the Korean heating sys- 
tem of underground clay pipes leading from the kitchen 
stove. This gave just enough heat to cook the morning and 
evening meal* The room next to it got unbearably hot at 
these times, and others progressively cooler, so for the night 
the men would rotate in the rooms those in the warmest 
lending their clothes to those in the coldest. Those on the 


outside, says The Doctor, often got severe chills and, al- 
though they huddled to save heat, a few froze to death. 

Morale was breaking badly, but some spirit remained. 
While the officers were segregated from the enlisted men 
during the early part of this Valley period, the non-coms 
were still with them. These old army wheels did much 
to keep their chins up. Furthermore the doctors were then 
allowed to make their rounds from compound to compound, 
and could serve as a link between officers and enlisted men. 

Most Americans had arrived after marches not quite so 
hard as that of The Artilleryman. The food at this point was 
supposedly 400 grams per day of boiled cracked corn or mil- 
let, plus occasional issues of soya beans or Chinese cabbage. 

The Doctor estimates that theoretically this would provide 
about 1,600 calories per day. Not enough to maintain weight 
in a patient flat on his back in bed. 

In proof of this, when President Eisenhower was stricken 
with a heart attack and it was imperative to reduce his 
weight, almost the first order of his doctors was to put him 
on a 1,600-calorie diet which, as he lay quiet in bed, rapidly 
stripped off pounds. 

But calories only measure a food's value as fuel are in 
fact heat units. No account is taken of precious vitamins, 
without which life cannot continue. Those daily 1,600 
calories provided the stricken President were rich in vita- 
mins from orange juice, lean beef tenderloin, and strong 
skimmed broths, so that the other delicate chemical balances 
of life could be maintained in full vigor while the dangerous 
fat melted away. 

Turn now to that corn-millet diet given our prisoners. Many 
vitamins are killed by heat. Whatever precious speck of them 
was in the heart of each grain kernel disappeared in the 
long boiling needed to soften the surrounding starch so 
that a human stomach might digest it. The end product was 


at best almost pure starch with roughage, the only protein 
coming in this period from occasional issues of soya beans. 

While our Western dieticians disdain protein from beans 
as a "low-grade" kind, far less valuable than that from beef 
and pork, the soya bean is for the peasant of Asia almost his 
only source of protein, and in America is highly valued as a 

But a minimum of 24 hours of cooking, according to The 
Red-Bearded Surgeon, is needed to prepare soya beans for 
human stomachs, which the Americans did not then know. 
The half -cooked beans produced irritating diarrhea. 

In the makeshift hospital provided by the Koreans, things 
were better. Here a Korean did the cooking, and he further 
had been provided with a beangrinder which cut down the 
boiling time. 

The two American doctors noted that the Korean medical 
team with whom they were working ate much better. True, 
the two daily bowls of cooked grain were equal in size. But 
the Korean doctors* mixture was one-third rice and two- 
thirds millet (no field corn). Also they got fish (which gave 
them protein, vitamins and minerals ) at least twice a week. 

There was furthermore no lack of fuel to cook the soya 
beans they ate, while the American prisoners were so weak 
that it was hard for the American doctors to single out those 
who they hoped might be able to stand up under the wood 
detail, to fetch in fuel for cooking. They could bring only 
enough for an hour's boiling twice a day. 

There was also the fact that, back in the Bean Camp, many 
had seen their comrades dying of diarrhea. What caused it? 
Our doctors who watched say that in most instances it was 
only a familiar symptom of the last stages of starvation. In 
others, it may have been infectious dysentery, to which, in 
their weakened condition, the men had low resistance. 

However, all the enlisted men who had come up from 


Suan to the Valley were sure it came from the soya beans, 
and now flatly refused to eat them. Perhaps at this point it 
was as well. For the hard splinters of the undercooked beans 
were indigestible, and their sharp edges painful in the 
bowels of many men already sick with diarrhea. 

As for their captors, there were plenty of Koreans anxious 
to get the soya beans disdained by tbe Americans. Why 
should they bother to run a cooking school for prisoners? 
Why go to the trouble, when they took away the rejected 
beans, to provide a more familiar substitute? Was it their 
responsibility if Americans then died for lack of protein? 

Geneva says firmly yes. Article 26 on "Rations'* says they 
must be sufficient 


In our camps, strictly following Geneva, we were putting 
ourselves to the bother of providing our Communist prison- 
ers not only with ample rice, but with such strange oriental 
delicacies as dried octopus, on which at Koje-do they were 
gaining weight. Looking back at this period in the Valley 
from the vantage point of a terrible three months later, we 
can say that conditions seem curiously good. In spite of the 
starvation diet of the 750 UN prisoners then confined there 
(most were from the American 1st Cavalry Division), only 
22 had yet died, of whom 14 had been seriously wounded. 

Why so few? Because a healthy man can live for a sur- 
prising number of weeks on little or no food. His body burns 
first surplus fat for energy and then, lacking meat, canni- 
balizes its own plump muscles, which shrink slowly. Min- 


erals and vitamins, mysteriously stored, are likewise eked 

Even those 14 wounded need not have died. The Doctor 
at this time was quartered with a Korean medical team, 
along with The Red-Bearded Surgeon. The two of them 
would make their rounds of the compounds and, turning in 
their sickroll to the chief Korean medical officer, would list 
the drugs needed for each. 

What they got was, very sporadically, limited amounts of 
two sulfa compounds outdated and no longer used by our 
army. For instance the standard Medical Corps treatment 
for pneumonia was, when used, six grams of sulfa the first 
day, followed by four daily grams for a week, totaling 30 

The medical officer in charge (who headed the group 
because he was the ranking Communist) would allow only 
six grams per case. The two Americans knew this was use- 
less, so they hoarded their sulfa, giving it only to those who 
would not pull through without it. 

In early January the two American doctors reported to 
their Korean chief that they had 12 men who must have 
surgery or die. The Americans refused to operate without 
an anaesthetic, for all were so weak they would probably 
die of shock. 

When the Communist chief said there was no ether, they 
asked him either to let in Red Cross medical supplies, or to 
contact the UN Command by radio for a parachute drop- 
including drugs, antibiotics, splints, and anaesthetics. 

The Communist doctor denied both requests. But after all 
of the 12 wounded had died as predicted, he brought in two 
ampules of ether, two of morphine, some pentathol and 
crude instruments. 

"With these/' says The Doctor, "we were able to perform 
one operation on the 16th of January. The amputee did 


splendidly. We were glad that, even if we could not save 
his leg, at least they had let us save his life. And so we had, 
for the time being. The man did not die until May. And 
then it was from starvation/* 

Our Treatment of Theirs 

Now on January 15th, the day before this ampu- 
tation in the Valley, Frederick Bieri, International Red Cross 
Delegate, was inspecting the United Nations hospital for 
Communist prisoners down in Pusan. He writes in his report: 

The average number of daily sick calls is about 1600. . . . 
There are two dispensaries in which, besides medical order- 
lies (both UN and POW) 9 North Korean medical officers 
are employed. The North Korean Medical Officer stated that 
the supply of medicaments is good and sufficient. ... At 
time of visit, 50 POWs were being taken in trucks to hospital. 

The Valley 

MORALE among our men seemed low (no one fore- 
saw the pathetic depths it was soon to reach), and the 
American doctors (still free to go from compound to com- 
pound) did what they could to bolster it. 

From newly arrived prisoners they got a story of an offen- 
sive in preparation. So in making their Christmas Eve rounds, 


The Red-Bearded Surgeon told them to buck up; that help 
was surely on its way, that General MacArthur had told his 
men they might well be home by Christmas; any minute 
now they might hear the roar of American tanks coming 
over the crest of the pass at the end of the Valley. 

Mercifully they did not know the truth, which was that 
on November 24th, 100,000 UN troops had started their 
advance "to end the war"; that one advance patrol had even 
sighted the Yalu, but that, on November 26th, 200,000 fully 
equipped Chinese "People's Volunteers" had crossed that 
river into Korea, had swarmed through and around our 
columns. They were to reach the 38th parallel on New Year's 
Day, and from there, retaking Seoul and Inchon, were to stab 
on down deep into South Korea in what General MacArthur 
was to describe accurately as "an entirely new war." 

Our Treatment of Theirs 

As the strength of UN prisoners was dwindling on 
that cracked-corn diet in the Valley camp, neutral Swiss 
Delegate Frederick Bieri was inspecting Communist prison- 
ers held by us around Pusan. On January 15, 1951, he 
dropped in on Sub-Camp #3, which, according to this report, 
held; "38,940 North Koreans ... in a healthy area." Here he 
found the food "sufficient and well prepared. The bill of fare 
on date of visit was rice and fish/* 

While our men on the Yalu lacked strength to carry enougjh 
wood for fuel, with these well-fed prisoners we held there 
was the problem of working off their surplus energies. Con- 


The Camp Commander stated that the volleyballs given 
by the IRC to his camp on December 28th were all in use, 
and greatly appreciated by the POWs. Our delegate was 
present at one volleyball game. [Clearly morale was good 
because] there are many decorations at compound entrances, 
and decorated markings of POW company lines . . . the 
POWs looked well ... a very good camp. 

The truth was that many of these North Koreans were 
now getting from us a better diet than they had ever had in 
their lives. These surplus calories and vitamins presently 
sought an outlet more vigorous than volleyball. In this 
period our huge bag of 136,906 prisoners had been divided 
into enormous compounds of about 5,000 prisoners each. 
These were giving us no trouble, but every few mornings 
our guards would discover hacked corpses at some com- 
pound gates. 

Why? It was hard to find out. Elected spokesmen were 
not talking. Slowly it became clear that these murders were 
not in settlement of private grudges. A political struggle 
seemed to be going on. 

Geneva provides that prisoners shall elect their own 
spokesmen, with preference given to the ranking officer. 
What seemed to be taking place here was that in some com- 
pounds the prisoners, perhaps fed up with Communists, had 
chosen others. So the Communists were fighting to regain 

In other compounds, prisoners had elected not the ranking 
officer, but the ranking Communist political agitator. He 
and his gang had taken over and were ruthlessly purging all 

And neither faction, in this period, was being frank with 
their captors. Often the elected spokesman was only a figure- 
head. A little Korean with the humblest task in camp might 
be the real boss-man. 

But why should we interfere? So long as we followed 


Geneva and fed our former foes well, what difference did 
it make to us if they found political murder a more exciting 
sport than volleyball? 

The trouble was, we had to act. Because right there in the 
Book (Geneva Conventions 1949, Article 121) we could be 
held responsible for the "death or serious injury" of any 
POW, even if caused by "another Prisoner of War." 

Clearly we must do something. Because if we failed to 
keep them from bashing in one another's skulls, Geneva 
could hold us responsible. Yet could we legally separate 
political factions? Back now to the book, where Geneva's 
Article 16 says: 

OPINION. . . . 

Read together, the two articles meant that if we failed 
to segregate, we would be responsible for the deaths, but 
each faction must get equal treatment. We now went about 
the delicate task of pulling them apart. It was not easy. 
Communist political agitators resisted being plucked from 
what in their terms were disloyal compounds. It was their 
duty to stay on and regain control. 

As for us the American captors few then realized that 
we soon were to have the pailful task of umpiring an im- 
portant part of Korea's Civil War, which, revived by our 
good food, was to rise in our POW camps. It was, for the 
moment, our duty only to put a stop to those mangled 
corpses which appeared at the compound gates, before the 
neutral Swiss could protest. Let these North Koreans fight it 
out after they got back home, we said. 

It had thus far occurred to no one that some might even 
refuse to return. 


The Doctor Camp \ 

ON January 20th of 1951, The Doctor, the Korean 
medical group, and all the men in the Valley were moved 
closer to Pyoktong, to a site later named Camp V. In area it 
was no more than six city blocks. Most of the farm com- 
pounds they were moved to had been bombed. Guards and 
barbed wire soon penned in about 2,000 men. 

For the 1st Cavalry Division prisoners were joined by 
those from the American 2nd Division, mostly taken around 
the 1st of December. They had had a rougher capture, and 
a higher death rate on a rougher march. 

During it, they had tried to pull their sick and wounded 
on sledges. 

"It sounds tough," says The Doctor, "when a wounded 
man stumbles up to you and gasps, 'Doc, I just can't make it/ 
But put him on a sledge and you know he won't. Surely and 
certainly he will freeze." 

These men brought news. 

"They told us the United Nations troops had been de- 
featedrolled back south of Seoul, that at home there was 
small interest in this war and therefore little hope of win- 
ning it/* 

The 1st Cavalry men had not believed all this. There had 
been a number of fist fights. When they did accept it, morale 
hit bottom. 

For the next three weeks The Doctor, still living with the 
Korean medical team and allowed to make sick rounds in 
the compounds, also worked hard to bolster morale. 


With surgical skill the Chinese had removed all leadership. 
Officers were penned in one compound, senior non-coms in 
a second, corporals in a third, and privates in a fourth. 

Need, The Doctor found, was greatest among the 
American enlisted men. Other nations had sent to Korea 
modest forces the British Empire contributing a Common- 
wealth Division, the Turks a brigade, the Philippines and 
Thailand each a regiment, while the others sent a battalion 
or less. 

Yet each had put its best toe forward. Those token 
battalions were the pick of each regular army, highly trained 
veterans, often with service in World War II and resentful 
at being sent out again but exactly the type of mature, 
trained soldier who best stands the strains of combat and of 
prison camp. 

Typically also the battalions had been picked from veteran 
regiments with high traditions of glory. The men had trained 
together, had been captured together, and knew that, once 
released, they would serve together again. Even with their 
officers removed, they worked together, helping one another. 

In sharp contrast to this the average American at capture 
was 21, half of them ranging down toward 17. Most of this 
younger group were draftees into our civilian army who, 
after three months' basic training, had been sent to the 
occupation force in Japan. Abruptly, and to bolster a caving 
battle line, they had been thrown into Korea, a country of 
which they had barely heard, and with no clear idea of what 
the war was about. After a few brief weeks of fighting they 
had been captured. 

In no sense were they yet soldiers. Their home training 
had been of the postwar "soft" type. To each replacement, 
his unit was a faceless thing, with a number instead of a 
name, and his buddies, faces he might never see again after 
his draft hitch was finished. 


Most lacked the maturity which would have taught them 
the value of discipline. Having heard frequent boasts that 
the American Army was the best equipped, best cared for 
and best fed in the world, they were utterly unprepared for 
the hardships of prison life. 

Now, cut off from officers and non-coms who would have 
given them stability, they were a frightened and leaderless 

Also the diet was getting worse. The Chinese (who now 
controlled Camp V ) had allowed the men of one compound 
to buy (with American dollars) a sick cow for a New Year's 
feast. But the Chinese guards ate most of her. Then vege- 
tables disappeared, and they were back on that mixture of 
boiled field corn and millet--600 daily grams per man, "so we 
were told/* says The Doctor. "We had no way to measure it," 
While in theory this might have been enough calories, as 
bodily stores of proteins, vitamins, and minerals were ex- 
hausted, the camp death rate climbed. 

In February even that sad diet dropped from 600 grams 
to a theoretical 400. But doctors think the actual figure was 
closer to 300, which might be 1,200 calories. 

Meanwhile the Korean doctors and the Chinese guards, 
served from the same kitchens, were eating decently if not 
well. For in addition to the boiled corn and millet (a Korean 
diet staple), they were getting fish and soya beans several 
times a week and often rice. 

Could it all be part of a plan? 

The death rate was now soaring mysteriously in the 
American 17- to 19-year age group. They began collapsing 
by the hundreds. 

Sometimes they died of pneumonia. Often it was diarrhea, 
usually brought on by lack of salt and minerals, but there 
were so many cases the men feared it was contagious dysen- 
tery. Usually there were symptoms of beriberi and pellagra. 


But however many diseases a man might have, although 
the American doctors faithfully reported them in their 
requisition requests, "Dirty Hands," the Chinese political 
chief of the medical unit, would issue medicine for only one 

"Dirty Hands" had little training or interest in medicine. 
He had started as a stretcher-bearer in the Chinese Army, 
and now headed the unit only because he was the ranking 
Communist. He had absolute control over all doctors and 

But what was killing these American teen-agers? Was it 
lack of medicines, of morale, or of vitamins? Those who were 
working to save them were only sure of what was happening: 

"At a certain point in starvation a boy would complain he 
was too weak to go out for chow. He would he down, pull a 
blanket over his head to shut out the world, and refuse, first 
food, even if his buddies brought it (sometimes they didn't 
bother), then water, and in a few days he would be dead. 

"He would usually die in a foetal position curled up on 
his side the position of a baby safe in its mother's womb. 
This sequence happened so often that when we saw the first 
symptoms, we could predict the end in a few days. 7 ' 

Why were the younger ones giving up? Was it because 
they had no wives and children to live for? 

Or could it be because at a certain point in starvation, 
lack of certain vitamins brings loss of appetite, so that a man 
(or a laboratory animal) will finally lie down and listlessly 
die even in reach of food? 

If it was purely chemical, then why were only the young- 
est (supposedly the strongest) dying in such frightening 

Stranger still (since all were issued the same meager 
rations), why had no Turkish prisoner died? 

But with teen-agers collapsing all around them, the 


doctors had no time for theorizing. If it was morale, some- 
thing could be done. They could be cheered up, urged to 
exercise and to eat. 

On February 10th the Chinese (perhaps annoyed by the 
American doctors' efforts to bolster morale) now confined 
them to one compound, to which the sick should report. But 
often the sick were too weak (or listless) to get there. Such 
a boy with diarrhea might also be too feeble to go to the 
latrine or even to rise. In this case he might have in his 
squad a buddy strong enough (and also willing) to wipe 
him clean, to try to get for him fresh clothes, or at least 
wash out and air his soiled ones. 

But too often he would be left alone, to die miserably in a 
pool of his own feces. At worst the squad bully, objecting to 
the stench, might drag him out into the compound, to freeze 
quickly while still feebly alive often an unintended act of 

For now that the doctors were confined to their sick house, 
the last trace of authority vanished in the American enlisted 
men's compoundsas the Chinese intended it should. What 
remained of discipline was, in each squad, the rule of the 
physically strongest, who might be the squad bully. 

In such squads it was dog-eat-dog. If a sick man refused 
food, why coax him? When he died there would be more 
for the strong. One boy whose squadmates could not be 
bothered to bring him food, but who managed to pull 
through, told The Doctor he remembered hearing them quar- 
rel loudly over which would get his pathetic little pile of 
personal belongings, when he had been carried away. 

Sometimes there was in all this a terrible justice. A man 
who in February had been strong enough to tyrannize his 
squad and steal food from the sick would weaken in March. 
The others, remembering, would stand over him to say, 


"We're glad you're dying, you son of a bitch. It'll be a 
pleasure to be on your burial detail." 

However much or little this lack of morale and discipline 
in the American enlisted men's compound increased the 
death rate, it shocked those who saw it. 

An American doctor, trying to help these dying teen-agers, 
reports that they "had no discipline. Give them an order 
and they'd say, 'Go to hell' which was just what the 
Chinese wanted. They refused to be ordered about, reasoned 
with, or forced." 

A British officer reports that "the spectacle of Americans 
being taken out of their huts [by other Americans] and left 
naked to freeze, was something we just did not understand." 

Echoing him, another American reported to Washington 
that "our greatest need was for devoted, utterly unselfish 
leadership. Korea showed that prisoners from a well-disci- 
plined unit continued, in captivity, to maintain a high stand- 
ard among themselves. The difference in the death rates of 
the Turks, the British, and the Americans [ours was highest] 
was due to lack of American discipline." 

Yet the picture is not all black. For every bully who 
robbed the sick of food there were, in the American enlisted 
men's camp, a dozen who nursed their buddies and volun- 
teered their remaining strength to go on wood and water 
detail for the camp. 

And, say the doctors, it was the helpful ones who in the 
end stood the best chance to survive. No one is sure why. 
Maybe because an extra store of vitamins gave such a man 
the life-force to think of and help others. Certainly because, 
when one of these sickened, the others, remembering his 
helpfulness, worked hard to nurse him back to health. 

Yet helpfulness could be overdone. "Seeing these kids just 
give up/' says The Doctor, "sometimes we deliberately 
adopted a harsh, unsympathetic attitude to jar them out of 


it; lectured them on tie dangers of inactivity. With such a 
man, an over-helpful buddy who pampered him and brought 
his food might even be hurtful." The doctors who had to 
force-feed these sagging 17- to 19-year-olds,, and drag them 
to get them to move, think that "psychotherapy might have 
helped, but we couldn't catch up with 2,000." 

At the start they began putting down "starvation" as the 
cause of every death, which was true, whatever the con- 
tributing factors, but this "Dirty Hands" would not allow. 
They compromised by using the phrase <c bowel disturbance" 
the end-symptom which meant starvation to the American 

Months later in the indoctrination phase, the Chinese 
insisted their high death rate came not from lack of food, 
but because the Americans were riddled by syphilis and 
gonorrhea. The truth? In the entire camp "we had," says 
The Doctor, "one case of VD in a man who had returned 
from leave in Japan the day before he was captured." 

In each case, reports The Doctor, there was one final 
argument with "Dirty Hands." "After a boy died, we would 
try to put one dog tag in his mouth and keep the other, so 
that the bodies could be identified and, in some dim future, 
be brought back home. But this he would never allow." 

Perhaps because the Communists kept no track of their 
own dead. The concept that each man has dignity, even in 
death, is a Western idea. In Communist Asia, the River of 
Humanity has no individual droplets. 

How many died there? If the Chinese bothered to keejj 
figures, they gave none to their captives. As more rnarche^j 
tottered in, Camp V, from its small beginnings, built up tcj 
a population of about 3,500 by the war's end. Meanwhild, 
based on the rough but dependable estimates of Americ 
doctors, 1,500 had died there, all of diseases directly trac 
able to malnutrition, and most in the first quarter of 


When toward the end of February the rate touched a 
daily 28 (in two months all would have died), it alarmed 
even the Chinese, and the American doctors were called up 
before the Chinese camp commander. 

"I demand that this death rate be stopped in two weeks," 
he said, "and I'm going to give you all the medication you 
can use." 

He then gave them 2,000 units of sulfadiazine and 1,000 
of sulfaguanidine. They thanked him, but ventured to tell 
the interpreter that they could do nothing unless the diet 

This the commander imperiously waved away. As pris- 
oners they had been brought in only to get orders. 

They were, however, delighted to get the drugs, says 
The Doctor, "even though the quantity was piddling. Since 
we used it in proper doses, it was quickly gone. We were 
then told there was no more. Nor could we again get access 
to the commander/* 

But a few days later, after The Doctor himself had been 
taken seriously sick, leaving The Red-Bearded Surgeon in 
entire charge, one of their Korean medical team named Liu 
rushed into their sick house, placed 10 tiny vials on the 
table, and announced joyfully, 

"The penicillin has arrivedr 

Now penicillin, to be effective, must be given in massive 
doses. Each bottle contained 200,000 units. With this total 
of two million on the table, they might hope to save three 
men. To try to stretch it would be a waste of the drug, as 
the American doctors knew. They also knew Liu knew it. 

"We will now go out into the compounds,*' said Liu, "and 
give an injection of penicillin to the thirty sickest menl" 

The Red-Bearded Surgeon blew up. He asked Liu if he 
knew what he was doing (which of course Liu did). He 
told Liu that if they diluted this tiny amount to that point, 


they would save nobody (which of course Liu knew). He 
said it would only be a propaganda gesture (which was what 
Liu intended). And he told Liu flatly that he as a doctor 
would not bastardize his profession by wasting the precious 
little amount they had, on more than three men. 

No one noticed that one of the English-speaking Chinese 
had been listening to this speech, which caused Liu a great 
loss of face. 

They compromised on giving the penicillin to 10 men, 
plus injections of a Chinese sugar-water preparation to 10 
more who were told it was penicillin. Syringes were prepared 
and the penicillin diluted. The sickest were already lying 
in the next room, but Liu insisted (this had been part of the 
compromise) that the 10 should be picked from five separate 
compounds, so that more would know about it. Trudging 
through a snowstorm with Chinese aid men and interpreters, 
guided by flashlights and a carbide lamp, they spread these 

The weakened penicillin (enough to check but not to kill 
the bugs) gave the 10 some temporary relief. Forty-eight 
hours later, all were as sick as they had been. Eventually all 
10 died. 

Not long after this the Chinese told The Red-Bearded Sur- 
geon they had no more need for his medical services, and he 
was sent back in disgrace to the officers' compound. 

In this way Liu recovered face. 

In March the diet improved a little. For cracked corn the 
Chinese began substituting kaoliang. Its coating gave Bi 
vitamin in minute but precious amounts. Now and then they 
would get seaweed in the soup, as well as dried garlic and 
pickled peppers from the root-cellars of Korean fanners. 
They were unappetizing, but the doctors hoped they would 
supply needed minerals. 


It was not enough, however, to check the rising death 
rate, and morale was further depressed by the news of the 
April Chinese offensive, when 600,000 of them again chewed 
through the United Nations line and, again driving across 
the 38th parallel, put the Chinese on the ridges overlooking 
Seoul. What hope now to win the war? 

Spring Camp V 

WITH the start of political indoctrination in April, 
the American doctors began to wonder if there could be a 
connection between this and the starvation diet. 

At first the Chinese had blamed all shortages on the 
American Air Force. 

"You are hungry? Your planes are destroying the Yalu 
River barges. What can we do?" Yet somehow they found 
space for Communist study texts, newspapers, and maga- 
zines now coming in by the bargeload, even if there was 
none for salt. 

A little later they had given a second reason. When the 
American doctors protested that the guards were much 
better fed than the dying prisoners, the Chinese pointed out 
that the prison fare was no worse than that given in their 
own country to class enemies landlords, merchants, and 
property owners who were put for two years on such a 
rough diet at hard labor, to condition them to accept the 
viewpoint of the New China. 

Could it be that cracked-corn diet had been a carefully 
planned Pavlovian conditioning? To make them hate their 
countrymen who were starving them to win what the propa- 


ganda lessons now said was "Wall Street's war?" And to 
love the Chinese who, under the "Lenient Policy " did not 
shoot them as war criminals but instead worked hard to 
improve their diet? 

For every wisp of seaweed added to the soup, the Chinese 
attitude was that they should show their gratitude by harder 
study of the propaganda. 

But for many starving American teen-agers in the enlisted 
men's compound, the faintly improved diet was too little, 
come too late. Each day their reserves of minerals sodium, 
potassium, chlorides, phosphates, and ammonia from broken- 
down proteins had been going out in urine. Once such 
bodily stores are used up, then surely and certainly a man 
will die, regardless of his morale or of how many starch 
calories there may be in his diet. 

Along with these shortages came "bone pains." The Doc- 
tors could detect "no swelling or redness, but it was im- 
possible to make the boys comfortable. Often they would 
come down with cramps in their sleep. Walking around 
helped a little. But you could hear grown men crying in 
the night." 

On the first warm day in May, two men collapsed and 
were brought to the hospital to die of heat exhaustion. Why? 
The salt deficiency, says The Doctor, "was serious. The loss 
of salt in that tiny bit of sweat had killed them." 

Yet that same sun in the same month cut the enlisted 
men s death rate in half. The Americans noticed the Turkish 
prisoners, out at the edge of their compounds, picking the 
first green weeds of spring. Now all followed suit, and the 
camp's cooks could make weed tea, rich in the vitamins 
and minerals for which they were starved. Presently they 
could be more selective, seeking out dandelions, lamb's- 
quarters, and sheep sorrel. 

Then a few spring vegetables appeared in the rations. The 


cooks now got a little wheat flour, plus small amounts of 
soya-bean oil for cooking. There were rare issues of pork 
liver, and a sugar issue was even started first a teaspoon 
per week per man, and then a tablespoon. 

Now that the American death rate was falling, the doctors 
had time to note the curious fact that, although the Turkish 
prisoners had lived under the same conditions, not one Turk 
had died. 

At first this seemed an unanswerable indictment of the 
background and training of our American teen-agers, who 
in this period had been the first to die. 

For the Turkish discipline remained perfect. They had 
formed a chain-of-command I am the leader but if I am 
taken, then he is the leader so on down to the bottom of 
their totem pole. 

The Chinese had been unable to crack them. During the 
indoctrination period they were not to find a single Turkish 
"Progressive" who would serve as monitor for their Com- 
munist propaganda. 

In part the Turks were protected by their language, which 
no one else understood, until the Chinese finally located a 
Greek who spoke Turkish. But the Turks had told him they 
lived next door to Russia, so no Turk needed any Greek to 
tell him about Communism: let him go back and spread 
these doctrines among his fellow Greeks. 

But could high morale alone account for the astounding 
difference in death rates? Then they remembered that all 
winter the Turks had been out scraping away snow to pick 
any unfrozen bit of green, perhaps a bulb or even tender 
bark. For these peasant boys were close to the soil. Their 
instincts as to what might be good to eat, unblunted by 
city life, were sharp as an animal's. 

Furthermore, the 38th parallel bisects both Turkey and 
Korea. Very probably there was, in the staple diet of rural 


Anatolia, a bean not unlike the soya, so that all winter tibe 
Turks had been able to cook these with skill and eat them 
without fear. 

There was, however, little time to study the Turks, for, 
as the teen-aged American death rate dropped that May in 
the enlisted men's camp, unexpectedly and in spite of the 
spring sun it rose in the officers' compound. 

Up to this point few officers died. Was this due to their 
firmer characters, better discipline, and higher morale? For 
whatever reason, in May the officers began dying of mala- 
dies directly due to vitamin and mineral starvation. Minor 
symptoms were sore mouths, swollen tongues, and bleeding 
from the gums and urinary tracts. Many died from wet beri- 
beri, in which swelling began in their legs and moved up 
until at last, in spite of being propped up, they would fall 
over in their sleep to drown in their own phlegm of beriberi 

AH through June and July mature West Point graduates 
died by the dozen. When the last officer's death occurred in 
August, their percentage had exactly equalled that of the 
enlisted men. 

Why the difference in timing? The highly competent doc- 
tors who in Korea were trying to save them, have no clear 
answer. But, seeing the problem from afar, there is some 
chance that the young, with faster rates of metabolism, had 
rapidly exhausted their reserves and so died first. Their 
youthful pituitary glands, whipping them on to grow even 
under starvation conditions, had quickly burned up their 
stored vitamins and minerals, whereas the higher age groups, 
long past their growth years, consumed their reserves more 
slowly. But in the end they died in equal percentages, and 
for the same cold chemical reasons, on the Yalu's banks in 
that terrible spring and summer of 1951. 


Yet morale remains as a strong survival factor. True, the 
British, who were so shocked at our lack of discipline, died 
in fewer numbers. But their death rate was still so disturb- 
ingly high as to give rise to a soul-searching report to their 
War Office, after their survivors returned. This records that 
units which survived best were regiments with ancient tra- 
ditions of military glory, whose men felt they should hold 
them high even in prison camp. 

They found also that a man with a firm belief in any creed 
stood a better chance to survive. Faith in God (these hard- 
bitten British officers decided) stood him in as good stead as 
faith in a regiment. Anything which moved a man to help 
his fellow men somehow buoyed up his own physical powers. 

For it was those who believed in Nothing who died 
squalidly of Nothing at All. 


BACK in Geneva typewriters were busy. At exactly 
that early spring period when our American death rate was 
hovering around a daily 20, the International Red Cross was 
reminding the Red Cross Society of China that as early as 


* These could have saved every prisoner on the Yalu, had they 
been admitted. W. L. W. 


They then explained that the only remaining hope of deliv- 
ery was through Chinese territory and 


From Madame Li Teh-chuan, President of the Red Cross 
Society of China, this brought (on April 9th) an answer: 


Nor need she waste words to explain that this also would 
apply to the food parcels. 

All winter and spring, while UN prisoners were dying, 
Pak Hen in Pyongyang had preserved his smug silence. 
When in January Ruegger had tried to visit North Korea, 
bringing a Swiss planeload of medicines, there had been no 
answer to his cables. The plane had only got as far as Peiping. 
In desperation Ruegger now (April 10th) cabled the North 
Korean Red Cross, explaining that: 




To which no answer came, then or ever. 


Our Treatment of Theirs 

WHOLE United Nations prisoners were dying on 
boiled cracked corn, neutral Swiss Delegates Bieri and Bes- 
sero were visiting United Nations camps for Communist pris- 
oners on Koje-do. Here is what they found (Report No. 28) : 
". . . based on the month of April, with an island population 
of 93,484 . . . 200 tons of food per day went into the stomachs 
of the POWs . . r In addition to 79 daily tons of rice, we 
gave our Communist prisoners, according to the Bieri- 
Bessero report, the following other foods that month: 

Barley 500 tons Canned salmon 55 tons 

Peas 349 * Dehydrated eggs 87 " 

Canned beef 85 " Salt 57 " 

Fresh fish 241 " Bean mash 37 " 

Canned fish 234 " Vegetables 1,028 " 

"On our compound visits," reported the Swiss, "we saw for 
the preparation of meals: 

Rice Beef and gravy 

Red pepper flavor Sardines 

Bean sprouts Shrimps 

Peas Vegetables 

Kitchens: Clean, tidy. Cooks wear long-sleeved white 

shirts. Hot water at entrance POW kitchen. 
Guard sees that each POW, entering, washes 
Tjifg tands. 

Cigarettes: 10 per day for each POW. 

Treatment: Fair and correct. 






(from spokesmen) ; 

General Remarks: 


Prisoners are weighed monthly. In one com- 
pound, an increase of from 40% to 60 was 
noted. [Most had been prisoners since Oc- 
tober, 1950.] On the personal weight cards, 
our Delegate noted average gains of 2 to 
3 pounds per month (some gains went up 
to 6 pounds). 

Met with them from enclosures 6, 7 and 8. 
No complaints concerning treatment were 

(a) The issue of more leather boots. (At 
first these had been disliked.) 

(b) Supplementary soap for POWs who 
are specially interested in wearing clean 
things (spokesmen, cooks, guards and 

(c) More copies of the Geneva Convention. 
The one copy per compound not sufficient. 
(Commandant says POW very interested in 
the Convention, quite new to them.) 

(d) One camp spokesman requested that 
matches be issued with cigarettes (during 
winter, stoves served as lighters). Brought 
to attention of Commandant. 

Our Delegate feels it is but fair to add some 
remarks concerning the efforts made in favor 
of Prisoners of War by the Detaining 
Power.* All concerned, the members of the 
Detaining Power . . . deserve the highest 
credit for their achievements . . . most me- 
ticulous in carrying out the stipulations of 
the Geneva Convention ... an excellent 
camp in every respect." 

* In this case, the United Nations Command. W. L. W. 


This was air-mailed to Geneva. From here it was sent via 
Moscow to Peiping and Pyongyang. So, when the Camp V 
death rate was at its peak, they could in Peiping and Pyong- 
yang read what you have read today and know their men 
were well treated. 


Camp V 
"Study Hard, Comrade ...I" 

As early as March of '51 The Doctor had heard the 
Chinese were trying to organize a "Peace Committee" among 
the prisoners. Being busy, he had paid little attention. 

So when in May of '51 he was sent back to the officers' 
compound of Camp V, it came as a surprise when a close 
friend said, 

"You can't trust everyone around here.** 

The Chinese had divided the officers* compound into 
squads and, following the Marxist dual system, had ap- 
pointed in each a squad leader and a "monitor" a sort of 
political commissar. This did not always mean that the 
monitor was plugging the Party Line. But certainly he was 
always under the Chinese guns. 

One day, before The Doctor had got onto the ropes, the 
monitor of his squad fell sick, asked him to attend the 
monitors' meeting in his place. 



Most of the other monitors at this meeting were pounding 
away at the Chinese 'Why don't we get more food?" or 
'"When will you let us get mail?" 

But some would rise and say smoothly to the Chinese, 

"Comrade, some of the men in my squad are very re- 
sistant. Would you suggest that we have every man write 
a cognition, and sign it himself?" 

This, from an American officer, to the camp's head Chinese 
Communist political agitator! The Doctor felt dazed. Back 
in the officers' compound, he talked to an American squad 
leader he trusted. 

"Youll get used to it," said his friend. "But youll never get 
to like it." 

Why had they gone over? One reason was food. Any man 
was liable to be called out by the Chinese for questioning, 
and you had to go. But these suspected ones, when they 
came back to the compound, were always vague about what 
had happened. 

None of them would admit he had informed on the 
others. But a good meal, secretly given in the Chinese mess, 
could be a terrible temptation. 

The friend now gave The Doctor a whispered list of those 
not to be trusted. Not all of them, of course, had sold their 
country for a boiled egg. A few were only indiscreet people 
who talked to those on the List, and therefore were as dan- 
gerous to the compound as though they were directly in- 
forming to the Chinese. 

With a medical eye The Doctor now looked over that 
dozen officers on the List. There was no doubt. Most were 
noticeably less malnourished than the other prisoners. No 
one at this point was even plump. But few on the List were 
gaunt. Few had edema. Somehow and from somewhere 
many surely were getting vitamins and minerals, for lack of 
which the death rate in this officers* compound was only 
now beginning to rise. As a doctor, he could not be mistaken. 

CAMP v "STUDY HARD, COMRADE . . . !" 105 

Second only to food, every prisoner craved to go home. 
No one knew when this would be. For the Chinese seemed 
to be inventing the rules of their Lenient Policy as they 
went along. But the Chinese camp commander, Ding, had 
made them clear in April when he lined them ijp to an- 
nounce the Indoctrination Program. 

"Study hard, Comrades, with open minds, and you will 
get home soon," Ding had told them. "But if you don't" 
and here he had paused, for effect "we'll dig a ditch for 
you so deep that even your bourgeois bodies won't stink!"* 

As Ding was making his speech, Camp V's death rate 
from starvation, out of a total population just under 2,000, 
was daily 10 or 12. 

The Red-Bearded Surgeon, speaking for all of Camp V, is 
sure that "our high death rate had been planned.** For the 
Chinese did not begin indoctrination until starvation had 
brought about moral degeneration. 

"They waited until we could see many of our own people 
die. Until a man would say, 'Why should I die like the 
others? I need only listen, nod my head and say yes, and 
then I may get more to eat.' " 

At the beginning, some on the List had been frank with 
the others. At all costs, they were going to get home to their 
families. They were going to study as hard as Ding said, 
They were going to pretend to embrace the doctrines. They 
were going to get the hell out of this Yalu River camp and 
back to America by this method and who would later blame 

* This linking of food and freedom to indoctrination was no 
isolated instance, but a part of orthodox Marxist method in Asia. Two French 
doctors captured in Indochina took careful notes on the diet, which began 
at 800 calories, plus ceaseless indoctrination. Realizing that it was carefully 
planned, they pretended to accept the indoctrination. The diet then jumped 
to 1,000 calories. By the time they had persuaded their captors that they 
were fervent Communists and were therefore released, it had jumped to 
2,400 daily calories. W. L. W. 


These found they were trapped. Once they pretended to 
be converts, the Chinese said it was now their duty to inform 
on the other Americans. To report every word spoken in 
that camp. 

You could not, they discovered, earn that daily hard- 
boiled egg plus that hope of early release just by memorizing 
Marx out of a book. But for most it was now too late to 
turn back. 

It was also unsafe to lie to the Chinese, who could check 
their stories with other informers. Dare you let the Chinese 
suspect you were holding out on them? The only course now 
was to tell all. 

"We even adopted their lingo with our meanings," re- 
ports The Doctor. "That dozen or so of us whom they praised 
as ^Progressives* were rats and opportunists who would in- 
form for an egg. The 'Reactionaries' were those of us who 
were still trying to hold our chins high, trying to fight off 
temptation, trying still to conduct ourselves with honor to 
our country and credit to our uniforms." 

The Doctor learned that morale in the officers* compound 
had not always been like this. In early April, reports of 
United Nations advances had aroused flickering hopes that, 
any hour now, they might spy an American tank column 
lumbering over the pass on their skyline at the end of 
the valley. 

But suppose the Chinese would then tommy-gun all the 
prisoners, and themselves take off over the Yalu! They could 
forestall this only by a mass break-out. A close-knit organiza- 
tion could lay careful plans to disarm the guards, so that 
when the liberating American tanks finally rolled into Camp 
V tibey would find the prisoners still alive. 

One vigorous junior officer had set about, with the con- 
sent of others, to organize the plan their ranking officer 
stepping aside because he feared the responsibility. The 
others had then thought this laughable. Since only American 

CAMP v "STUDY HARD, COMRADE . . . !" 107 

officers would be in on the plan, how could the Chinese 
ever know? 

"Who organized it?" asked The Doctor. 

"Over there, standing by the post," said his friend. "The 
Man with the Drooping Wrists. But after about a week after 
the plan began, the Chinese called him out for questioning. 
He didn't come back. We knew then there were informers 
among us. Whom could you trust? 

"We didn't see him for another week. They had trussed 
him up, wired his hands behind his back. Then, throwing 
the other end of the wire over a beam, they had pulled it 
tight, until he stood on tiptoe. They kept pulling him higher 
until he confessed. That's why his hands hang loose, the 
way you see. He can't feed himself. But they didn't break the 
skin. They seldom break the skin. 

"After he confessed, they hung him some more by the 
wrists, until he dictated a longer confession, implicating just 
about everyone in camp/' 

<c Was it an accurate confession?" 

"It was all dressed up in their lingo we were reaction- 
aries, planning to butcher them but it had to be accurate. 
Every night they would check what he had dictated with 
their informers, and hang him up again next morning, either 
for lying or for leaving something out. It took them a week 
to get everything. Then they brought him back to us. 

"They made quite a show. Staged it in a big wooden 
theatre. All us officers were there, and representatives from 
each enlisted men's compound in Camp V. They let us see 
his drooping hands, and the bruises on his back 

"Then they had him read us this long confession, with all 
our names in it. With him were three others with rope marks 
and swollen hands, but not so bad as his. They backed up 
his confession. Now he is with the Chinese completely." 

"Does he inform to them?" 

"He says so. Passed out word to his close friends, Tin 


going along with this business because I've got to. They've 
got me hooked. Don't say anything in front of me you don't 
want them to know/ 

"They sent him back to us as a monitor. He has no motion 
in his fingers, but can get along fairly well by clamping 
things between his two palms. 

"Now hell come around with their literature, saying, with- 
out looking you in the eye, You're supposed to read this/ 
If it's a peace petition he'll beg you desperately, 'Please, 
please sign this God-damned thing!' Yet we all understand. 
We all help him eat and dress. Because we remember when 
he was the bravest man in the compound." 

Much later, in speaking of the Man with the Drooping 
Wrists, The Doctor points out that, although he had been 
tortured and broken, and knew just what he had to do, 
and why he had to do it, 'lie sure as Hell wasn't brain- 

Meanwhile in the officers' compound of Camp V, morale 
was slowly sinking. After the April escape plot the Chinese 
started an intensive propaganda lecture program, touring 
the compounds. The Americans had a "Bird Dog" alarm 
system. When the Chinese came near, a lookout would give 
a low signal, "so that the Chinese would find us reading 
aloud Powell's China Monthly Review or the Shanghai News 
both English-language Communist papers." 

"But even this showed a drop in our morale," points out 
The Doctor. "We now feared to seem uninterested in their 

Suspicion was also a beautiful controlling device. The 
Chinese might call in a man for questioning, and start by 

"All right, we know you did it, now confess!" 

Actually they knew nothing against him. But the fright- 
ened man might confess to some minor infraction of their 


Their next order would be to write out a "cognition 7 * of 
this guilt, including names of others who might be impli- 
cated. "Because if you confess and criticize yourself, we 
won't punish you." 

This self-criticism was the man's first step in degradation. 
There were slow stages. One man actually read to the camp 
a confession which said, "I'm sorry I got caught stealing corn. 
This is a great crime against the Korean People. And I 
promise never to get caught again." The prisoners all 
laughed at the Chinese "these slope-heads!" But the Chinese 
were only biding their time. It would take less pressure later 
to get a more serious self-accusation. 

The officers were now at the end of their bodily stores. At 
best they were barely able to drag around, complaining of 
bone pains and muscle cramps. Others had pellagra symp- 
tomsdiarrhea and dermatitis. Still others had beriberi, with 
edema of the lower legs or sometimes of the genitals, which 
led to elephantiasis of the scrotum, so that "even when they 
hobbled the short distance to the latrine, they had to carry 
themselves in their two hands." 

A man so weakened and in this misery has little resistance 
to anything, whatever his character when he is decently fed. 
It affected their speech. They talked now in words of one 
syllable. Their memories were curiously weakened. Some 
would stumble and grope for the name of a close friend or 
relative. The Red-Bearded Surgeon remembers that the 
doctors "could not even talk medicine. They seemed to 
have forgotten the names of everything except those diseases 
they were seeing every day. Without question these memory 
losses were due to lack of some vitamin, for when the food 
improved they cleared up." 

Presently their insignia of rank was taken away. A few 
days later the whole company was assembled in a Korean 
schoolhouse outside their area, where the Chinese began, 
making speeches. 


"We congratulate you. No longer are you our enemies. 
You are our friends. No longer will we treat you as hostile 
soldiers or war criminals. For you can instead become stu- 
dent guests. You only need to put your signatures on this 
paper, which states that you are leaving the Camp of Aggres- 
sion, and joining with us in the Camp of Peace." 

It had all been carefully staged by the Chinese. This was 
their signal for the "Progressives" to come forward to sign, 
beckoning or pushing the rest. 

'Virtually all of us signed," says The Doctor, "led by these 
Judas-sheep 'Progressives/ They were not really leaders. 
Actually, we shunned them as "horrible examples/ But, to 
our discredit, we had feared to whip them back into line as 
Americans. Now, under the eyes of the Chinese, we let them 
nudge us to the signing table. 

"Then came the promised 'feast/ It actually contained 
meat you could taste the porkl There were even corn 
fritters, fried in deep fat for which we had been starved. 
There was not only enough of it, but it had a good flavorr 

From now on, according to the Chinese logic, it was up to 
the Americans to prove that they were sincere peace-loving 
students who would be repatriated, rather than war criminals 
who could be legally executed. 

That was the price of the tasty pork fat. 

Our Treatment of Theirs 
Indoctrination, VSA Style 

YES, we also offered our viewpoint to the prisoners 
we held on Koje-do, but starvation was never one of our 
educational tools. 


It was only a coincidence that in April 1951 (the same 
month the Communists began their indoctrination on the 
Yalu) General MacArthur, remembering the success of that 
little pilot POW "Rehabilitation Project" in the fall of 1950, 
recommended it for all compounds. 

Already the prisoners we held had been roughly divided 
into Communist or anti-Communist compounds, our only 
object being to stop the weird political murders. Let them 
finish their Civil War after all had returned to North Korea 
or China, when the watchful Swiss delegates could no 
longer blame us for their deaths. 

Monta Osborne's revived Civil Information and Education 
program might give them something more constructive to do 
than butcher each other. There was furthermore an obliga- 
tion, laid on by Article 38 of the Geneva Convention, which 
provides that: 


Since most of these were farmers, soon, under Monta 
Osborne, our islands were blooming with agricultural proj- 

A compound of 5,000 well-fed men can create a consider- 
able problem in sewage disposal. Previously this had on Koje 
been coped with by an enterprising Korean businessman 
who daily emptied the sawed-in-half steel oil drums which 
served as latrines into a truck, on the sides of which was 
gaily blazoned "Smiling Sam.** He "didn't need a horn by 
day or lights by night/' one American observer remembers. 
"You knew he was coming." 

* There could be no compulsions or rewards. W. L. W. 


Once the gardens were started, however, these golden 
riches promptly were diverted into the plots, after the 
ancient custom of the Orient. But alongside these Osborne 
mapped parallel strips enriched instead with commercial 
nitrates. Now these prisoner-farmers were amazed to see 
crops which grew twice the size, and by a method which 
did not spread either dysentery or hookworm. 

Colonel William R. Robinette, a camp commander, re- 
members that "there were potato patches on both sides of my 
command post and, beyond that, a sea of tomatoes, cabbage, 
onions, radishes, and melons. Each compound had a certain 
area, and the intent was that each would get what it raised. 
The Communist compounds of course would have nothing 
to do with this or any of Osborne's other educational 
projects. If the hancho* said it was out, it was out. They 
would only garden under orders and under guard.** 

Colonel Robinette reports that the reaction of American 
camp commanders on Koje to Osborne's C. I. & E. program 
was also varied. One considered it a violation of Geneva's 
spirit and "ordered it discontinued." Another "supported it 
to the extent that it furnished his camp with vegetables, tools 
and office equipment/* while a third "threatened to court- 
martial C. I. & E. representatives," and all three, the Colonel 
feels, failed to realize this program's "potential value" and 
its "effect on prisoners* minds." These prison gardens were 
soon supplying all their needs. Meanwhile others were out 
gathering kelp in the Orient a staple grocery and fishing. 
A few were able to escape across the East China Sea. 

The neutral Swiss wrote in their inspection report for 
May 30, 1951, with approval of our rehabilitation efforts: 

The Detaining Power is organizing a large scale Educational 
and Vocational training scheme. Pupils are accepted on a 

* Chinese military title, roughly equalling captain. W. L. W. 


voluntary basis.* It includes formal instruction, broadcasts, 
motion pictures (65 cans of film) . . . and visual helps 
(posters, etc.) for non-readers. 

The courses are expected to last about 30 weeks. The 
vocational program includes instruction in the use of tools 
(main accent on Korean style). ... A special course in 
sports and games will be held. The Delegate's suggestion 
that a camp paper be provided is being considered. 

Many of our captives were illiterate. The first step was to 
open classes for all prisoners under 18 who had not com- 
pleted high school, with older prisoners as teachers. 

For the Koreans, teachers were a problem. Until 1945, 
Korean schools had been conducted only in Japanese, and 
few were equipped to teach Korean. Our basic text was 
Frank Laubach's Literacy Primer. 

Among the Chinese, the percentage of illiterates was far 
higher, and our text was James Yen's Thousand Characters, 
a standard Chinese primer slightly revised. 

The Chinese divided into those who spoke the Cantonese 
dialect and those who spoke Mandarin. Cantonese-speaking 
teachers we could bring from universities on the United 
States mainland (most of our immigration comes from South 
China) as well as Hawaii and Hong Kong. Studiously we 
avoided bringing teachers from Formosa in fear that some- 
one might later charge they were political propagandists^ 

Mandarin-speaking teachers were scarce; finally we as- 

* The italics are mine. Although this program was later to be 
denounced by the Communists as propaganda in its most bestial form, no 
strings were put on it at any time. No one was compelled to attend a class 
or read a book; scores of thousands were allowed to reject any or all of it 
with no hint of reprisal. W. L. W. 

f Our scruples brought us nothing: a year later the Communists 
were to be shrieking that all our Chinese schoolmasters were paid assassins 
of "the bandit Chiang." W. L. W. 


sembled enough from tiny Chinese colonies in Japan and 
Korea, and others from Hong Kong. 

To house the project, we built in each compound a stage, 
complete with lights and loud-speakers, to be used as a 
schoolroom by day and for plays at night usually old classic 
oriental operas, revived and acted by the prisoners them- 

We also had classes in current events, but, after later 
screening divided Communists from anti-Communists, these 
were rejected by all Communist compounds. 

We also provided movies. America's leading half-dozen 
companies sent 19 major films pure entertainment (not a 
line of anti-Communist dialogue in any), plus 20 comic 
cartoons for a price which only covered insurance, 

We picked films like Abe Lincoln in Illinois and many 
documentaries avoiding gangster or war stories. 

The closest we came to propaganda was in our choice of 
music for broadcasting. We let diem hear old Chinese and 
Korean folk songs, banned by the Communists as "bour- 

We also brought in a varied program the South Korean 
Broadcasting System, the Voice of America in Chinese. Their 
favorite, we discovered, was the Voice of the UN Command, 
because here, the prisoners felt, they were getting cold facts. 

As to subject, most of all they wanted straight factual 
news and, after this, news commentaries, modem Korean 
music, traditional Korean tunes, folk songs, dramas about 
world events, and, at the very bottom, sports. 

For the teen-aged prisoners, we set up Boy Scout troops 
as they had existed in Korea and China before the war. They 
took avidly to this at first but presently were drawn into the 
more militant Communist and anti-Communist factions of 
the adult prisoners the Komsomols and the Korean Young 
Men's Anti-Communist League. 


Compounds under tight Communist leadership rejected 
all of this (as they were free to do), suspecting that even the 
literacy primers might contain propaganda. Those in which 
Communist leadership was lax accepted parts of it. But at- 
tendance here was limited to anti-Communists and a few 
militant Communists who came only to take lists of the audi- 
ence for punishment after repatriation. 

Most compounds, however, welcomed the agricultural, vo- 
cational, and athletic parts of the program. We established 
blacksmith shops where they could make stoves out of oil 
drums. Tinsmiths turned used beer cans into many different 
utensils, and pounded artillery-shell cases into souvenir belt 
buckles. Tailors trimmed American uniforms to size for the 
smaller Koreans even our shoes had to be completely re- 
cobbled for their tiny feet. 

Nothing that Monta Osborne did, according to Colonel 
Robinette, worked faster than his distribution of Mont- 
gomery Ward and Sears Roebuck catalogues, to show pris- 
oners how Americans lived. Communist hanchos at first 
sneered that they were only propaganda, compiled to fool 
prisoners. Others pointed out that no government could 
afford to print so huge a book, even with color photographs, 
just to swindle prisoners: these things must really exist. Soon 
prison artisans, copying the photographs, were turning out 
for camp use furniture, tools, hinges and filing cabinets 
they could make anything that was pictured. 

Some compounds developed special skills. Colonel Robi- 
nette remembers one enclosure of older Koreans, unofficially 
called the "Papa-San Compound," who were "the most 
skilled workers we had the best carpenters, cabinetmakers, 
and moulders. We brought in aluminum from an Air Force 
boneyard on the mainland, and they melted it down into 
rice bowls and spoons for all the compounds.** 

There was also the matter of tooth brushes and powder,, 
issued by us to all compounds, and the Koreans were par- 


ticularly baffled by the powder, which most had never seen. 
The Papas-San had, however, an answer. Their hancho had 
it all collected, mixed with water, and it gave their kitchen 
a gleaming coat of whitewash. 

Most compounds were divided into quarters, one of which 
was reserved as a recreation area which, in anti-Communist 
Compounds, says Colonel Robinette, included "a chapel, 
decorated with crosses and religious pictures by POW artists. 
The Civil Information and Education Service furnished the 
songbooks. In other parts of the area, the artists would im- 
provise flowerscomplete with dyed leaves and petals out 
of toilet paper, and murals in the lecture hall. However," 
adds Colonel Robinette, "we discouraged pin-ups/' Officers 
junior to the Colonel recall that we prohibited absolutely 
any pin-ups, however alluringly anti-Communist, which 
included pubic hair. 

Instead the Americans primly directed prisoners toward 
exercise on parallel bars or the volleyball field. "Several built 
basketball courts," adds the Colonel. "Osborne not only gave 
them radio programs, but started them off on dramatic enter- 
tainment. Soon they were producing puppet shows which 
Orientals enjoy with dolls carved by compound artists." 
Incidental music here came from hand-made oriental instru- 
ments hammered out of scrap tin, and also every anti- 
Communist compound had its band, with instruments pro- 
vided from US Army salvage, or sometimes supplied by the 
International Red Cross. 

Some particularly the skilled "Papa-San* 9 became show 
compounds, in sharp contrast to the dreary ones under 
Communist rule, where the grim hanchos would have no 
part of Osborne nor any pro- Wall Street works. 

Meanwhile within these compounds the political lines of 
Korea's Civil War were again tightening. By the early sum- 
mer of 1951 we had taken about 170,000 prisoners, of whom 
about 25,000 were Chinese. It had become clear that large 


numbers of our supposedly Communist prisoners really did 
not want to go back. By the time armistice discussions 
loomed in late June, we feared this might become an embar- 
rassing factor. 

We did not then know that the Communists (whose intel- 
ligence within our compounds was good) knew this even 
better than we. Therefore at the armistice conference table 
they agreed to postpone all talk of prisoners until the very 
end. Homesickness, they felt, would be on their side. If 
armistice talks were dragged out for months, the prisoners, 
eager to get out, would consent even to return to their 
Communist homelands. 

For the moment, however, we knew only that these polit- 
ical feuds were fouling up our educational program. 

Hospital Care Theirs 

BACK now across the 38th parallel to inspect a 
Chinese Communist hospital in the late spring of 1951, 
through the eyes of The Artilleryman, who arrived there 
from the Bean Camp on May 10th. He made the trip in a 
truck, because "I had diarrhea, pneumonia, beriberi and now 
weighed 90 pounds." 

This hospital was a former Buddhist monastery in the city 
of Pyoktong. Here he found more than 100 POWs lying on 
the floor. "There were no washing facilities, and lice were 
everywhere." The hospital population remained steady at 
about this figure, because more were constantly being 
brought in to take the places of the dead. 

In the early period The Artilleryman noted that 10% of 
them died daily, and often were left for several days lying 


in their own drying defecation, until space was needed for 
a new arrival. 

Of those who died two were of keen interest to him. One 
was a Lieutenant, who had been one of three Americans to 
escape from Pak's Palace, the North Korean interrogation 

Of course they had caught him. And he told The Artillery- 
man that they had beaten him until there was nothing left 
of him. Which was true, for, just as they were trying to lift 
him off the stretcher on which he had arrived, The Artillery- 
man watched him die. 

The other case involved differences in political viewpoint 
between the Chinese and an American Major, one of the' 
Army's leading authorities on small arms, whose book on 
that subject is a standard text. He was so weak he had to 
be helped up the monastery steps by two prisoners, who set 
him down propped up in a corner of the warehouse section 
where The Artilleryman finally recognized him. They had 
known each other on maneuvers near Yakima, Washington. 

The Major explained that during an indoctrination lecture 
at Camp V, when the Chinese were reading from the writ- 
ings of Chou En-lai, he had mumbled something. 

The Chinese had ordered him to stand, and to repeat 
aloud what he had muttered. 

So the Major had risen and told them he had said the 
particular statement of Chou En-lai they had just read wasn't 
worth the paper it was printed on. 

The Chinese had then explained that this opinion dis- 
played, on the part of the Major, a "hostile attitude" toward 
the Chinese government, which is, under the civil law of 
New China, a punishable offense. 

The Major was therefore beaten, tortured, and finally 
hung by his hands for some hours. Which might have been 
worse, since the Major at this point weighed only 65 pounds. 


It was bad enough, however, for the Major died 48 hours 
after he arrived at the hospital. 

After the start of truce rumors in late June, medication 
and food at the Pyoktong Hospital improved, so that by 
late July, out of that hospital population which fluctuated 
around 100, only two were dying per day. During the five 
months The Artilleryman spent there, he saw about 500 die. 

Hospital Care * Ours 

GLANCE now at Report No. 22 of International Red 
Cross Delegate Frederick Bieri, on his inspection of the 
United States 14th Field Hospital caring for the Ctommunist 
prisoners at Pusan: 

Patients: 10,198 POWs Staff: 

Doctors 307 Medical Orderlies 134 

Dentists 4 Administrative 15 

Nurses 382 Warrant Officers 1 

Chaplains 1 Enlisted Men 400 

Food: Usual ration scale, plus: powdered milk, 

and increases in fish or meat o one-half 
pound daily, plus rice and barley, to provide 
30 grams more protean per patient per day. 

Total Minimum Protein 74.5 gr. 

Requirements: Carbohydrates 479.0 gr. 

Fat 11.9 gr. 

equivalent to 2,200 calories per day* 

* Note that patients on bed-rest require far fewer calories than 
active men. Note also that calorie needs depend on body size. An elephant 
eats more than a mouse. The tiny Koreans need fewer calories than the 
average GI but were getting far more. W. L. W. 


Deaths: Average 20.7 per day* (dysentery cases 

3,362, battle wounded 3,826). 

Remarks: Medical supplies sufficient. Everything pos- 

sible being done for patients. Extremely 
clean and in good order. 

Visiting the same POW hospital in June of 1951 (Report 
No. 28) Delegate Bieri found that: 

Since our March 3 visit, further buildings have been added. 
Now 3 operating theaters and 3 X-ray installations are in use. 
An eye clinic will be opened. 

Everything possible is being done for the POW patients 
at this hospital. The patients are well behaved and show their 
gratitude for treatment given. The Commandant and medical 
staff are untiring in their efforts to help their patients, who 
receive the same attention as UN patients. 

But all prisoners sometimes need discipline and, having 
seen what happened to the American Major and Lieutenant 
for breaking the laws of New China, we should look at the 
other side. This same Report No. 28 by Delegate Bieri in- 
cludes his unannounced visit to the Pusan and Koje prison 
camps, where he finds that: "Escapes take place from time 
to time. About 50% are returned to the camp." 

For these, and other offenses against our rules, some pun- 
ishment was needed, and therefore: 

A detention compound is attached to each enclosure. The 
POWs there live under the same conditions as their comrades 
outside. It is doubtful therefore if any POWs in detention 
feel really "punished." 

* This is about two-tenths of one percent in a hospital of 10,198. 
Compare it with the 1035 daily death rate The Artilleryman observed in his 
Communist hospital. W. L. W. 


Guards: The Republic of Korea MPs get 8 to 15 

hours instruction monthly on the Geneva 

Morale: Excellent. 

Treatment: Fair and correct. 

Complaints: None. 

Let us concede here that the Communist method got 
substantial results: there can be little doubt that the Ameri- 
can Major and Lieutenant both felt "really punished" before 
they died. 


IF in this pre-armistice period the Communists 
were short of medicines for our prisoners, they cannot be 
charged with carelessness: it was all according to plan, for 
back in Geneva the International Red Cross had been trying, 
by every method, to get drugs into North Korea. 

On May 28, 1951, as The Artilleryman was watching UN 
prisoners die on the floor of that Pyoktong hospital, Inter- 
national Red Cross President Paul Ruegger in Geneva, in 
another telegram to Pak Hen in Pyongyang, was still worry- 
ing about those: 



Of course no answer, and Geneva's last remaining hope lay 
in that other ton of medicines which had been accepted 
"with joy" many months ago by Etienne Florian, Hungarian 
Red Cross secretary in Budapest. 

Now at last an answer from the Hungarian Red Cross. Its 
ambulance presumably had arrived in North Korea, but: 



Had the gift been spurned, or what was wrong? Geneva 
now asked Florian in Budapest: 


No answer came, undoubtedly because even the flowery 
Dr. Florian could not phrase a tactful one. It seems clear, 
however, that North Korea did not want either to accept 
Red Cross medicines, or to be on record as rejecting them. 

The Camp of Peace 

IN early June The Doctor was called in for his first 
interrogation. What could a battalion aid surgeon know that 
would help them, eight months after capture? Nothing, as 
they knew. The Doctor is store they were only testing 


to see how willingly he would talk, how deeply they might 
entangle him in collaboration. 

Camp Commander Ding was in his late twenties or early 
thirties, taller than the average Chinese, with long, slender, 
Mandarin fingers and soft hands. 

His uniform was not the cotton-quilted type, but well 
tailored of a good wool cloth, and he wore worsted riding 
breeches and boots. When he spoke, his soft slow voice con- 
trasted with the harsh rasp in which the interpreter repeated 
his questions. 

"You are a doctor. What business have you in this sense- 
less slaughter why did you come to Korea?" And then pres- 
ently, "What are the medical installations in Japan?" These 
were well known: Ding was only testing. 

Avoiding any phrase or note in his voice which might be 
interpreted as a "hostile attitude," The Doctor tried to parry 

Finally Ding said, "You are not being cooperative. The 
Chinese People's Volunteer Army has saved you from death. 
You are getting the best possible care. Now we are all to- 
gether fighting in the Camp of Peace, for which you signed 
the pledge. Were you sincere when you signed it? If you are, 
should you not give us all information which might help 
the cause of peace?" 

"Although there were no dramatics," says The Doctor, "I 
was scared to death. For I well knew they were capable of 
using force to get what they wanted." 

Finally, after considerable sparring, The Doctor departed 
from "name, rank, and serial number" far enough to mark on 
the map of Japan the location of a world-famous military 
hospital, explaining this was all he knew, which for the time 
being contented Ding, 

But, as they were beginning to learn, the whole skillful 


game was to get them to talk, to coax them into one admis- 
sion, then another and so on. 

They would be awakened at five, and indoctrination 
would begin at once. At about 9 o'clock there would be a 
break for breakfast, which was always, in this summer, boiled 
kaoliang. The study continued until 9 at night with a break 
for supper. 

In this period the Chinese were excited about a new 
miracle-operation which they accepted without question 
since it had just come from Moscow, of which Chinese 
military medicine was now a colonial branch. 

As practiced in Camp V's hospital, raw chicken livers were 
cut into quarter-size lumps, and these pushed through a 
small slit under the skin of the sickest, in hope the host body 
would absorb needed vitamins from these minced giblets. 

As it later developed American doctors agreed the slight 
operation did no harm and no good. For the liver, instead of 
being absorbed, was immediately walled off by the body. 
Yet, since those who volunteered were also put on a better 
diet, many showed signs of improvement. 

Hearing stories of this operation, The Red-Bearded Sur- 
geon applied for permission to see it performed in the 
hospital. This was refused because, he was told, the Chinese 
People's Volunteers had no interest in forwarding his medi- 
cal education, which had been organized on foundations 
which were hopelessly bourgeois. 

"You are here," explained Sun, one of the indoctrinators, 
"to learn Communism, not medicine. When America is 
liberated, all the doctors will have to go to school again to 
learn who to save, and who not to save." 

Their propaganda to other Americans followed similar 

"I got in on the second, or *American-Imperialist-War- 
monger/ phase," says The Doctor. "The substance was, Tfou 


have no Democracy. Your country is run by the big money 
for its own benefit. But you soldiers are our friends. You 
were duped. They sent you out here to fight Wall Street's 
war.' " 

Their study materials were the New York and London 
editions of the Daily Worker, plus the works of Stalin and 
of Mao Tse-tung. 

"We don't expect you to agree with us at first," they ex- 
plained. "We only want you to listen with an open mind. 
We encourage you to say anything you want to. Argue as 
much as you like. No man will ever be punished for dis- 

The Doctor remembers that "we would put up heavy 
arguments." But, "Comrade, you haven't understood," and 
then would follow hours of boring repetitious argument. 

"When they first got you to talk, they didn't care what you 
said. They would hammer away until you gave up out of 
boredom. But and this was important you couldn't clam 
up. That showed a hostile attitude! You could be punished. 

"They even argued this was consistent with the Geneva 
Convention (which they didn't then recognize, but never 
mind), for it says a prisoner must obey the laws of the 
land. This law against displaying hostility to the government 
is on their statute books." 

Food rapidly got better when American Vice-Admiral C. 
Turner Joy and North Korean General Nam II began armi- 
stice negotiations at Panmunjom. 

But just before these talks came the great Chinese Peace 
Campaign which, says The Doctor, "was to mark the low 
point in officer-morale. 

"You must prove,' the Chinese told us, 'that you are 
worthy to be in the Camp of Peace. Show your sincerity 
by signing these petitions to the United Nations, asking them 
to stop this useless bloodshed.' 


"Even though we were now disorganized, nobody wanted 
to sign. We argued, trying to get them to take out words 
like 'American Imperialist Warmongers/ They held firm. 

"Some fool back in America later insisted that there had 
been no duress. But consider, at this point, the supreme im- 
portance of one egg, one vitamin tablet or even one tailor- 
made cigarette* 

"Is duress only when a pistol is put at the back of your 
neck? Or only when its trigger is pulled? We saw men around 
us still dying of starvation. Is not this duress? 

"It took four days to break down our heavy (if unorgan- 
ized) opposition. Finally the most respected members said 
that if we all signed, it would be obvious that it was not 
voluntary. The Chinese wanted three copies one for the 
United Nations, one for Stockholm, and one for their files. 
We thought this would be the end. 

"The next week, we found we had to elect a Teace Com- 
mittee 5 " which had to sign still another peace petition to be 
distributed through some Chicago 'Peace Committee/ We 
could not help wondering who those strange characters were. 
Why were they in this? Surely they were not starving! 

"Indoctrination was going full blast with Progressives 
as monitors, They would go from compound to compound, 
trying to propagandize us on Foster or Mao. They would 
lecture for hours, giving us the impression they believed it. 

"Two (they were later convicted in courts-martial) 
seemed to be in competition as to which could write the 
bitterest article against America. We left them alone and, 
among ourselves, called them traitors and rats/* 

In June they were visited by Miss Monica Felton, a British 
fellow traveler who, after giving them an indoctrination 
lecture, explained that she would take with her any letters 
they cared to write their families. 

The Chinese said they could tell their families that letters 


to prisoners would be delivered if mailed to Peking IB care 
of "the Committee for World Peace and Against American 

This announcement produced the first show of spirit in 
the camp: as a man they refused to write these last four 
wordsand were surprised when the Chinese gave in. 

Their captors now issued writing materials. One man 
would write, tersely, "I'm all right. I hope everything is fine 
at home." Then he would see the man next him writing: 

"We're really being treated quite well. Our meal this eve- 
ning contained pork, soya beans, potatoes, parsnips, cabbage, 
and a nice hot bowl of rice." 

The meal actually had been rice, and a bowl of thin soup 
with fragments of those vegetables. So his friend would ask, 

"Why are you writing all that crap?" 

"Well, it's all true, isn't it? Besides, I want the letter to 
get home." 

When the men got home, many were puzzled to read what 
they had written from camp. One man had asked his family 
to sign peace petitions. Another, however, had only asked 
his father to circulate them, shrewdly adding that "you 
should get many eager signers out in Forest Lawn/* (It was 
the local cemetery. ) Others did not write at all, fearing an 
honest letter would not get through. 

In the course of their duties together, the American doc- 
tors got to know the Chinese well enough to see that then- 
captors also had morale problems. One Chinese doctor had 
interned in an American Christian hospital in Shanghai (this 
amount of training was rare) and felt warmly toward Ameri- 
cans. He was, however, ranked by "Dirty Hands." 

Two younger political indoctrinators called Gin and Tsai 
finally had to be taken out of the officers' compound because 
they were absorbing too much counter-indoctrination, 

"These younger indoctrinators and the guards," says The 


Doctor, "were ripe targets for us." In fact, several guards 
later volunteered to escape with the Americans. This offer 
was considered, but finally turned down. For the guards, of 
course, would bring their guns. Then later if all were sur- 
rounded up in the hills, the guards would have no choice 
but to shoot the Americans, to keep them from talking under 
torture. If this had not already occurred to the guards, it 
certainly would later. The Americans decided it was too 

Most of the Chinese had come in with integrated units, 
many from the old Communist 8th Route Army. "The first 
Chinese commander I talked to had been in the army for 
17 years," says The Doctor. "He wasn't Volunteering* for 
anything. In case after case, as we got to know them, they 
would remark, Tm no volunteer I was sent here/ ** 

It was also clear that among the ordinary Chinese there 
still remained a considerable reservoir of good will toward 
Americans. Many remembered our missionaries. Also, we 
had helped them in their war against Japan. So the Korean 
war against us had not been popular, and the Communists 
were having to work hard to force them to hate us. 

In the early fall of 1951, the Officers' Company, Camp V 
(also called the "Reactionary" Compound), was moved a 
few kilometers away and, quartered in the tiny village of 
Pichong-ni, renamed Camp II. 

However, about a dozen of the most conspicuous "Pro- 
gressives*' remained behind. They had been invited to live 
with the Chinese, where they would get a month's special 
indoctrination (and, of course, better food), plus a promise 
that they would be sent home soon. 

One man (he was in The Doctor's squad) after packing his 
gear could hardly wait, and when the truck finally arrived, 

"Comrade," he told the Chinese, *Tm glad youVe come!" 

Still another "Progressive" had gone around taking ad- 


dresses of next-of-kin, explaining that the Chinese had prom- 
ised to repatriate him "in a few days/' The rest were happy 
that nothing ever came of this promise. But at least the 
Chinese made him librarian of Camp V, which got him 
better living quarters and freedom of movement. 

The other officers arriving in Camp II were quartered in 
an old schoolhouse, 60 to a room, so crowded there was 
hardly space to sleep on its floor. 

Again the food faintly improved. Two daily bowls of rice 
replaced the cracked corn and kaoliang. Along with each 
they got a cup of hot water. Presently, each group of 120 
men got a fortnightly 100-pound (live weight) pig. He was 
small and his fat pulpy, but it meant a taste of meat for each. 

With the pig, propaganda was heightened and the Chinese 
were delighted that one officer who they had thought was a 
Reactionary suddenly became a highly popular "explainer." 

His method was first to read a line of Marx aloud and 
then pause to recite, in a dead-pan monotone, a stanza from 
"Casey at the Bat." The Artilleryman remembers that he 
was quick at ad-libbing. 

"When he came to the line, 'Burroughs died on second,' 
he would make it 'Burroughs died at Pyoktong/ * 

Because his audience was always so attentive, the Chinese 
called on him often. 

The Ranger 

MEN arrive at wars for many reasons: The Ranger s 
explanation is the simple one of patriotism. During World 
War II he had been a paratrooper, first in Italy and then in 


France. When Korea broke out in 1950 he thought he might 
again come in handy, and so volunteered. 

For a while they penned him up in Fort Benning as an 
instructor of Rangers, but in 1951 they let him go into gue- 
rilla warfare, working with North Koreans among the west 
coast islands near the Yalu's mouth. 

His capture he blames on an unusually high-spirited pilot. 
They were planning to sprinkle a few Korean anti-Commu- 
nists 40 miles east of Penyang, and had been out recon- 
noitering the target in a B-26, before making a drop the 
next day. 

But on the way home an ack-ack battery opened up. The 
pilot, indignant, dived down to knock it out. They were hit 
at 350 feet and never pulled out of their dive. The plane 
caught fire. The navigator bailed out and so did The Ranger, 
who had been hit a flesh wound in one arm. 

The two had no chance to take off, for they landed in the 
middle of a Chinese army headquarters about 30 miles east 
of Penyang, and the Chinese put both in an ox-shed at this 

But The Ranger was in serious trouble. For the ground 
map he brought to help pin-point that drop had been blown 
clear of the burning plane. It could have brought up that 
whole matter of dropping guerillas, an under-publicized part 
of the war in which the Chinese had a keen interest. 

So in the ox-shed The Ranger got the navigator to claim 
ownership of the ground map if the Chinese asked about it. 
His own story would be that he knew nothing about Korea, 
since he had only arrived as an infantryman the day before 
and had been invited to go for a B-26 ride by an old friend, 
the dead pilot. 

The Ranger says it worked only because that navigator 
was so solid. For two years in prison camp he kept that 
secret. He never collaborated with the Chinese. Whenever 


they pulled him out for questioning he always got word 
to The Ranger, as a warning in case the interrogators suc- 
ceeded in breaking him, which they never could do. 

The Chinese presently brought to their ox stable what 
they called a "Peace Fighter" an American sergeant who 
led off by mumbling rapidly, in American, "I-don't-believe- 
anything-rm-f orced-to-tell-you, and-I-hope-you-won't either" 
and then went into a recitation about how wonderfully the 
Chinese treated all prisoners, what a fine thing their Lenient 
Policy was, and how all of them should unite to fight for 
Peace and against the Wall Street Lackeys and Imperialist 
Warmongers who had attacked North Korea. The Ranger 
thinks this "Peace Fighter 77 was probably a victim of circum- 

Presently The Ranger was moved to that POW assembly 
point, the Bean Camp, and, because he had a fever of 104, 
was sent to its hospital. 

Like The Doctor, The Artilleryman, The Tank Lieutenant, 
and others who had gone through many months before, he 
also found it "filthy, with the sick lying on the floor in the 
uniforms they had worn when captured. Now, all had lice/* 

Many had wet beriberi you swell until you burst. Also, 
many had pellagrasore mouths, joints and bones aching 
"your toes," The Ranger says, "would get so sensitive tliat 
even a light cloth hurt." 

When they decided to move The Ranger up to the Pyok- 
tong Buddhist-temple hospital, it had to be by truck. His was 
a one-and-a-half -tonner, loaded with two 50-gallon drums of 
gasoline, 30 bags of rice, and 20 sick piled on top. 

Only one of these died on the way. The rest arrived safely 
at that Buddhist temple converted into a hospital in which 
The Artilleryman had been confined the spring before. 

Here The Ranger says the Chinese treated them well. He 


believes it was because the time was approaching when they 
needed the names of live prisoners. He got beef soup almost 
every day and also a pulpy milk made of ground soya beans, 
with eggs and sugar. 

Those near death got intravenous glucose, with the 
Chinese doctors leaning over them almost begging them 
not to die. Yet many were too far gone. He remembers a 
Private who was constantly vomiting, had no control over his 
bowels, but was conscious to the end. 

Since The Ranger was then ranking officer in the ward, 
the Chinese asked him to sign a "cognition 7 * which stated 
the Private had died of syphilis and tuberculosis. The Ranger 

Yet those particular Chinese doctors at this exact time, 
The Ranger insists, were doing what they could. The men 
were getting not only a good soft diet, but soap, towels, 
combs, and tobacco. There is, however, in starvation a Point 
of No Return, which was why out of 35 in that ward for the 
weakest, 22 died. 

One day the Chinese asked him to pass around for signa- 
ture a statement saying they had been well treated. He told 
the others he personally would not sign. Granted their hos- 
pital treatment now was good. The truth was, they were 
there because of prior starvation, and the Chinese would 
only use their names for misleading propaganda. 

Most felt as he did, but one enlisted man reached for the 

"Oh boy!" he said, fumbling for a pencil, "here's my chance 
to get more cigarettes and some candy!" Two others grabbed 
him. "You shifty son of a bitch/* he was told, "anyone who 
would sell out his buddies and his country for a fistful of 
candy isn't fit to live!" That stopped it. The only man in the 
hospital who signed was a "Progressive" who, according to 
The Ranger, was not really sick, but had been sent there to 
influence the patients. 


Just before the hospital discharged The Ranger, he, an 
Air Force lieutenant and a British sergeant were called up 
before the commandant, who very politely asked them what 
might be done to improve that hospital. 

The Ranger, also trying to be polite, said he thought they 
were doing all they could with what they had. But since they 
lacked so much, why didn't they abide by the Geneva Con- 
vention and admit the International Red Cross, which would 
bring things they didn't have? 

This annoyed the commandant. He said the Geneva Con- 
vention's niles were written by barbarians for barbarians, 
and that the Lenient Policy was far better. As for the Inter- 
national Red Cross, it was a tool of capitalist espionage. 

Then, The Ranger asked, why not let in Red Cross food 
packages? Because if the men had had these supplements, 
none would have needed to come to this hospital. 

The commandant was now angry. He said if those pack- 
ages were admitted, the prisoners would be living better 
than most of the Korean or Chinese people. And since Amer- 
icans had come here as aggressors, now they were going to 
live like those poor peasants they were trying to enslave to 
Wall Street, and see how they liked it. 

Then The Ranger said at least they should put the Red 
Cross emblem on the hospital roof, so it would not be 
bombed by mistake. 

The commandant said this would only attract American 

The Ranger said this was not true and, if they would only 
paint a Red Cross on the roof, every American Air Force 
prisoner would volunteer to stand on the roof during the 
next raid, to prove it would be untouched. 

The commandant said The Ranger, by his attitude, had 
proved he was no friend of the Chinese people, was there- 
fore not entitled to the Lenient Policy, and that his case 
would be referred to higher quarters. 


On October 26, 1951, The Ranger was transferred (by 
oxcart, for he was still weak) to Camp II, which now held 
about 160 men. Most were American officers, but there was 
a sprinkling of British and Turkish, and about 15% were Air 
Force enlisted personnel 

He noted that in appointing their squad leaders, the 
Chinese often put an enlisted man in charge of officers or a 
Negro over whites, hoping to create race or class friction. 

Even in this "Reactionary 7 * camp they had their "Pro- 
gressives," who did not have to be pointed out to The 
Ranger because all were so plump and pink. 

In theory all ate the same mess, and most had been in 
prison for a year. But the Chinese were constantly beckon- 
ing the "Progressives" out for interviews, and, says The 
Ranger, undoubtedly slipped them an occasional square 
meal, which had made all the .difference. You couldn't prove 
this, but one look was all you needed. 

The Ranger was acutely conscious of weight because when 
he was captured he had weighed 189 pounds but now (five 
weeks later) weighed only about 150, which alarmed him. 
He would not then have believed that later, after his trial 
and during solitary confinement, he could drop to 110 
pounds and still come out of prison camp alive to tell his tale. 


BACK in Geneva, the International Red Cross, with 
both food and medicines for these prisoners in North Korea 
backed up in its pipelines, had found a faint ray of hope in 
a Shanghai News story ( September 22) that seven teams had 


been sent to Korea by the Chinese Red Cross, and now wrote 
Madame Li Teh-chuan, noting her teams would be "super- 
vising the health work in Prisoner of War camps. . . . We 
hope that your society will find it possible to cooperate with 
the International Red Cross. . . ." 

No answer, so presumably it was not. But the homelands 
of the United Nations prisoners were alarmed about their 
welfare and the lack of any news. On November 15th, the 
American Red Cross, writing Geneva, was 

pleased to inform you . . . 5,000 standard food parcels 
... 15 medical Jdts . . . 4,000 invalid food parcels , . . 
warehoused in Yokohama. . . . As some of the prisoners 
. . . may be ill or undernourished, we ask that every 
effort be made to give priority -first to the medical kits 
and second to the invalid food parcels. . . . We recognize 
the difficulties facing the International Committee in 
obtaining access to our prisoners . . . ask that you keep 
us fully informed . . . 

Frank T. Cleverly, 
Director Insular and 
Foreign Operations 

Our Treatment of Theirs 
The First Riots 

IN the late summer of 1951 neutral Swiss Dele- 
gates Bieri and de Reynier had been inspecting UN POW 
Camp #1 (Pusan and Koje-do), where 163,569 POWs were 
in tented compounds which "have reached almost the maxi- 



mum state of perfection in layout, decorations, cleanliness" 
and where "heavy workers now receive supplementary food" 
(2,800 calories). Their report included: 

Health: Hospital patients less than 2% of camp 

strength. . . . Deaths 1 or 2 per week. . . . 
In the course of the last 4 months, only one 
death was registered in the Dysentery Sec- 
tion . . . [the patient's liver] . . . almost 
completely destroyed by an abscess. 

Spiritual Needs: Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries 

and clergy continue. . . . The question of 
providing Buddhist priests [previously urged 
by Bieri] is nearing solution. 

Education: The [voluntary] program provided by the 

Detaining Power is in practically full swing 
throughout the camp. Excellent work is 
being done. 

Recreation: . . . The Delegate was present at a per- 

fectly organized athletic meeting ... a 
well-marked track, starters, judges . . . POW 
cheer leaders . . . from the splendid phy- 
sique of the contestants, the ration scale 
would appear to be adequate. ... At an 
open-air smoking concert . . . actors and 
singers . . . were very good, and the stage 
backgrounds and scenery were marvels of 
POW improvisation. 

Mail: The POW, both Chinese and Korean, for 

reasons of their own make little use of the 
mail boxes in their compounds. Many do 
not know their relatives* whereabouts. 

But this International Red Cross Report (No. 30) also 
chronicles the first clashes of Korea's Civil War in our POW 
compounds. With the best of bumbling good intentions we 


had issued to each POW a summer kit consisting of a sport 
shirt and Bermuda-type shorts, dyed an alluring red. 

These the Chinese had graciously accepted. The Koreans, 
however, were outraged. Red had been used by the Japanese 
as a criminal prison garb during their occupation of Korea, 
so the Koreans threw the kits over the barbed wire at their 
guards. One Communist compound took the extra precau- 
tion of wrapping them around large rocks. One of these had 
flattened a South Korean MP, whereupon his colleagues, men 
of spirit and in no mood to take insults from Communists, 
in or out of prison, had opened fire, killing three. ""The De- 
taining Power," noted the visiting Swiss, "is investigating." 

This was a curtain raiser to the observances of V-J Day, 
which is celebrated throughout Korea as the joint birthday 
of both the Communist and the anti-Communist Republics. 
According to the neutral Swiss, 

The Camp Commandant [in Pusan] had received advance 
information that trouble was brewing and had doubled his 
Republic of Korea guards . . . leaflets with political slogans 
had been distributed in the compounds, some of them 
through female POW (nurses), who also carried illegal 
messages. Two kinds of leaflets were found, one mimeo- 
graphed on UN paper [presumably anti-Communist] in the 
enclosure itself, and the other (possibly from outside) 
stamped [presumably by Communists] on oriental paper. 

Toward . . . evening, the tension was great . . . The sing- 
ing of political songs was taken up by one compound after 
the other . . . POW of Compound #11 disobeyed the order 
to be in their tents at 22:00. . . . Both the ROK guards and 
the POW became excited. The latter shouted insults at the 
guards. Then, as tempers grew hot, the POW surged in 
masses against the fence and commenced throwing rocks 
[at the guards] and also threw stones at each other, from 


[Communist] Compound to [anti-Communist] Compound. 
At 22:30 the guards, now thoroughly aroused, apparently 
feared mass escape attempts.* Some fired warning shots into 
the air, others direct at the crowd of POW pushing, shouting 
and throwing rocks. Total Casualties ... 6 POW killed, 24 
wounded (of whom) 3 ... later died. 

The neutral Swiss spent two days talking of this incident 
with camp spokesmen, but "nothing new was brought to 
light." A few "complained of the attitude of some POW 
compound guards toward their fellow POW.f ... No further 
trouble . . . was expected for the time being." 

The same joint Independence Day celebration had also 
brought trouble in the Koje-do POW camps: 

... first a clash between POW and ROK guards, [the Red 
Cross reports] followed later by internal strife among the 
POW themselves. ... In South Korean Compound #65,$ 
late at night, a group of POW beat up their POW camp 
guards. In the early hours of the morning, a group of POW 
camp guards took revenge by beating up the offenders. 

The ROK guards fired warning shots. Three POW were 
killed (cause not yet known) and 26 injured by the beating. 
. f . These incidents have caused the Detaining Power great 
concern. A Board of Officers is investigating . . . many of 
the ROK guards are young and inexperienced and the De- 
taining Power is considering . . . replacing them, 

* This was a real danger. The posts holding the barbed wire 
were only lightly anchored in the stony soil W. L. W. 

f The differences here were probably political: segregation was 
not yet complete. W. L. W. 

| These were South Koreans who had either volunteered for or 
been forced into the advancing Communist armies and later were retaken 
by us. Their politics were extremely complicated, and in this period they 
had not been carefully screened. W. L. W. 


The Chinese, however, were in this period a different 
story. The neutral Swiss, visiting their Compound #72 (offi- 
cers and other ranks), found it 

an extraordinary sight with picturesque pagodas, arches to 
feeding lines, tent decorations (nearly all made with disused 
tin cans), life-sized clay figures and ground decorations made 
with colored clay . . . enhanced by the tint of the red-dyed 
summer kits worn by its inmates. 

Morale is excellent: nobody is idle . . . POW were observed 
polishing the day walls around the tents, while others kept 
the ground decorations of small pebbles in order. 

No complaints were made. 

Each week a committee of UN officers . . . decides which 
is the "Best Compound of the Week. 9 * The winning com- 
pound receives a plaque, which is proudly displayed over 
the entrance. 

Yet in their general remarks on Koje-do and Pusan, there 
are signs of a gathering storm. For while the Swiss note that 
in each compound "spokesmen are elected, as provided by 
the Convention . . . unfortunately experience has shown that, 
in spite of secret ballots, very few elections produce persons 
capable of carrying out the tasks mentioned in the Conven- 
tions." There was even one spokesman who 

had just been elected, but who had to be removed from 
office for leading a group who molested two POW . . . the 
Commandant explained how difficult it is to keep each tent 
under observation in complete darkness. These beatings (he 
said) which unfortunately often cause deaths, happen quickly 
and are carried out by well-organized groups. Even should 
the culprit be recognized by tent inmates, fear prevents 
witnesses from giving evidence. The question is being 


studied. The United Nations Command . . . has also taken 
up the matter. 

The Swiss report also ominously noted that it had until 
recently been "possible to guard the POW with a minimum 
of personnel . . . [but] Under present circumstances the 
prisoners are excitable, unstable and restless/* 

Already the great masses of Korean prisoners on Koje and 
in Pusan were polarizing into two political groups. Spokes- 
men increasingly were interested not in prisoners* rights 
under Geneva, but only in serving the faction which had 
put them in power. 

Even among the contented and docile Chinese prisoners, 
politics would not down, and on November 2, 1951, Swiss 
Red Cross Delegate Otto Lehner is writing to the United 
Nations High Command in Tokyo 

I have received 3 petitions from a number of 
Chinese Prisoners of War who are anxious not to be 
repatriated. . . . The International Red Cross is not, I 
feel, in a position to express considered opinions . . . 
since political considerations lie wholly outside its terms 
of reference. 

However, . . . the International Red Cross . . . could 
be led, on the grounds of concrete facts consequent on 
decisions taken by the responsible Authorities . . . to 
make this its concern . . . in conformity with its 
traditional policy of protection for Prisoners of War. 

Behind this cautious language it is clear that already 
Lehner and the other neutral Swiss could see that violent 
political differences among the prisoners might lead many to 
resist return to their Communist homelands. He now hints 
that the International Red Cross might handle a necessary 
screening, if asked to do this by both sides. 


Their Treatment of Ours 

IN the north, thoughts were also of repatriation 
among Americans held in the Yalu Valley, the great differ- 
ence being how many would live to see the day and which 
ones would be allowed to return. 

For, "Study hard, and you will get home," Commander 
Ding had told Camp V in April "If not-" 

But in early November this was reversed by another terse 
speech from Ding, who now notified them that without 
question all would be returned* "in fact giving us the 
impression," says The Doctor, "that they would be glad to 
be rid of us.** 

In Camp II this came as a blow to the "Progressives,** 
who had just returned from that month of special indoc- 
trination, sure it had earned for them the right to an earlier 

"This was," The Doctor remembers, "the breaking point 
in ^Progressive" activity. We gave them the cold shoulder. 
When one passed we would start chanting a little ditty: 

Let's all sing 
Like the Birdies sing! 
Tweet! Tweet-tweet! 

The "Progressives" now saw they would have to square 

* Just possibly announced at this time because Communist 
agents in our prison camps may have told them that large numbers of their 
men would not want to go back. W. L. W. 


themselves. One leading "Progressive" (he later was court- 
martialed ) walked up to one of his tormentors and asked, 

"Just what have you really got against me?" 

"I won't talk to you, you son of a bitch," said the "Reac- 
tionary* 7 and knocked him flat, although the well-fed "Pro- 
gressive" outweighed him by 30 pounds.* Nobody helped 
him get up. 

Later he told his squadmates that he had made a mistake. 
He had been opportunistic, but now, "I'm absolutely through 
with the Chinese," he explained, because "they disappointed 
me!" In not sending him home early, they had not "carried 
out their part of the bargain!" 

Remembering how badly he had hurt American morale 
in the camp with his eggs and cigarettes after interviews 
with the Chinese, no one bothered to help him nurse these 

There was the other American officer who had volun- 
teered to head their propaganda "Peace Committee" be- 
cause "I want to get the hell out of here and don't care how 
I do it. When I get back home IT1 say I did it under duress." 

There was also a Marine officer who, because he blamed 
the Army for his capture, had consented to make his first 
propaganda broadcast to let his family know he was alive. 
Then he had become enmeshed as a "Progressive," studying 
to get home. 

After Ding's announcement he was bitter: "It ends up the 
Chinese don't want me, and the Americans don't want me. 
And I don't even want myself." 

Most "Progressives" spent the rest of their prison-camp 
months trying to come back. One organized a church choir, 
another a woodworking shop, striving as hard now to regain 

* If our men had their political differences, they stopped short 
of murder. In fact, this was the most serious incident in that compound. 
W. L. W. 


the confidence of their fellow Americans as they had that 
of the Chinese. 

They failed, not because the others would not have for- 
given a repentant Communist. But these "Progressives* had 
been only smooth opportunists. Smoothly they had lectured 
for the Communists when that had seemed smart. Smoothly 
they now worked with the Americans for the same reason. 
Back home, smoothly they would try to convince military 
boards that the charges were only malicious persecution, 
Smoothly they would argue with those who made such 
charges that perhaps their prison-camp memories had been 
faulty: why wreck another man's career? 

With these, they were to fail. For, however dim their 
memories, all could recall brave men who had died on the 
Yalu rather than fawn on the Chinese. 

For the moment, there on the Yalu, it seemed these dead 
had been forgotten by the world, until suddenly in mid- 
November came the news that Colonel James M. Hanley, the 
8th Army's Judge Advocate General, was blaming the 
Chinese for the death of 2,513 American prisoners taken 
since November 1, 1950. 

In America, the colonel was "disavowed," and there was 
even talk of court-martial. Such sensational figures, by in- 
flaming public opinion, might be a block to peace negotia- 

On the Yalu, the prisoners who had survived were de- 
lighted that someone had the courage to tell at least part of 
the truth. 

The Chinese were furious, and set about drafting state- 
ments to be signed by prisoners which would refute the 
charges. They found that on this point they could not count 
even on their "Progressives." 

Persisting, however, "They ordered each one of us," says 
The Artilleryman, "to give them a list of names of all Amer- 


icans killed by our aircraft after capture, plus all who had 
died of wounds before reaching camp their idea being that 
the Chinese were not responsible for these deaths." 

"They had to have names now," says The Doctor. "They 
had taken the dog tags of the dead for souvenirs. Now they 
found they had no complete record of the deaths. Before 
this, they had not cared." 

In the fall of '51, Camp II got reports that an American 
plane had strafed another POW compound. They knew our 
Air Force realized Americans were being held in compounds 
along the Yalu. 

But since the Chinese frequently shifted prisoners from 
one unmarked compound to another, how could our Air 
Force keep track of them? 

"Late that fall," says The Artilleryman, "the Chinese gave 
us cabbages, and explained if we would put the leaves out 
to dry on the compound roofs, this would give us a supply 
of greens for the winter. 

"On each roof we used the leaves to spell out *P O W in 
big letters. The Chinese noticed it, and made us break up 
the patterns. 

"With the first snow, we got up early to trample out 
TP O W in the compound yard. Noticing this, they gave us 
brooms and said the whole area must be swept bare." 

Radio Peiping broadcast news of that mistaken American 
raid, and on November 23rd Paul Ruegger is again cabling 
the Chinese Red Cross: 




No prison camps were marked, no information on their 
locations given, but the incident touched off an explosion 
of Communist propaganda fireworks. Ignoring the Interna- 
tional Red Cross, the Chinese Red Cross presented to the 
League of Red Cross Societies a resolution on the "Criminal 
Atrocities of the U.S. Armed Forces in Korea," charging 
us with the "most unpardonable human crime" of planning 
"to use more than 1,000 prisoners of war in the experiment 
of atomic bombs."* In addition, they charged Americans had 
bombed "their own POW with equal madness. They inces- 
santly dispatched aircrafts to bomb and strafe the POW's 
camps, to take away their lives"; and in support of this, 
Madame Li Teh-chuan submitted a lengthy protest "signed 
by 1,362 American and British POWV who insisted that: 

At all times since our capture we have been extremely 
well treated by the Chinese Volunteers . . . food is more 
than adequate . . . health a top priority . . . many prisoners 
have received good medical attention in our own hospital. 
We live in warm houses provided by the local Korean people. 

Indeed, our only danger is that we may be bombed again 
by American aircraft, . . . blotted out by that same group 
of selfish warmongers who sent us out here in the first place. 
, . . We now appeal to all the peace-loving peoples of the 
world. . . . 

Why had so many signed this fustian? Those back from 
Camp V report that it was then their only way to let their 
families know they had survived. 

Meanwhile, the International Red Cross, ever striving to 

* La the Communist propaganda schedule, something apparently 
happened to this mythical rape of helpless humanity, for the charge is never 
mentioned again. Apparently it was withdrawn in favor of the bacterial war- 
fare campaign soon to begin. W. L. W. 


get the list of prisoners, was now on its knees to the China 
Peace Committee, that shadowy organization formed in 
Peiping for the propaganda exploitation of helpless prisoners 
of war, writing them that 

Whfte she was last in Geneva, Mme. Li Teh-chuan, . . * 
President of the Chinese Red Cross, informed us that 
your Committee intended to organize a system for 
exchange of news between Prisoners of War and their 
families. We drew [her] attention . . . to the fact that 
the Geneva Conventions expressly confirm our activities 
in this field. However . . . the International Committee 
will . . .be very happy if you can provide it with copies 
of any lists of Prisoners of War . . . you may possess, 
and . . . will take care to indicate the sources of any 
such information. 
I have the honour to be 

Your Excellency's obedient servant, 
D. de Traz 
Assistant Executive Director 

They grovelled, however, in vain. For on December 18th 
and over Radio Peiping, the Chinese Peace Committee an- 
nounced a list of Communist-held United Nations war pris- 
oners. The total, however, was only 11,559, which ignored 
more than 60,000 South Korean captives of whom they pre- 
viously had boasted. 

Only 571 Americans, they said, had died in captivity. But 
of the 3,198 Americans they said were living, the prisoners 
themselves recognized the names of many they knew to be 

Yet its publication had one good effect on prison-camp 
morale. Now that their families had been told they were 
alive, few would sign Chinese petitions. 


Bacterial Warfare 

WHILE the name of the first American who reported 
a flying saucer is in dispute, American prisoners held on the 
Yalu remember that the first mention of Bacterial Warfare 
came late in 1951. 

It was already a time-tested technique of Communist 
propaganda. Earlier, when America had made the East Ger- 
mans a gift of surplus potatoes, the Communists explained 
we had done this only to infect that People's Democracy 
with parasites which would destroy future crops. 

So now, as winter frost drove the rats indoors, typhus 
sprang up in North Korea. Previously, because of high 
health standards left by the Japanese, typhus had been un- 
known there. However, in neighboring Manchuria it has 
been endemic for centuries. 

Communist authorities in Korea could hardly be expected 
to face the truth, which was that typhus had entered the 
peninsula with the Chinese armies. So when a Moscow mag- 
azine, distributed among our prisoners in late December 
1951, charged typhus was being spread in North Korea by 
the American Air Force, its purpose clearly was to take all 
blame off the Chinese. For no occupying army is ever pop- 
ular, still less one which spreads an incurable disease. 

Whether or not the next step was planned by Moscow, 
it would be, in any Communist land, inevitable: the an- 
nouncement threw the Communist interrogators of North 
Korea into a panic. 


Since Moscow could not be wrong, why had there been 
no confirming evidence from the many American pilots they 
had questioned? Would Moscow think that shrewd Ameri- 
can pilots were outwitting them? Heads might roll! 

Consider what might have happened even in America if 
the flying-saucer rumors had started when war hysteria was 
high, and had received government encouragement? 

It was at this critical point in the unfolding history of 
Communist mythology January 13, 1952, to be precise that 
an American B-26 flown by Lieutenant John Quinn, with 
Lieutenant K. L. Enoch as his navigator, was hit over North 
Korea. As their parachutes unfolded over Anju, neither 
officer had yet heard of Bacterial Warfare. Neither could 
know that Communist military intelligence was in a truly 
desperate position, with many careers at stake. Neither was 
remotely prepared for the ordeal ahead. Nor did the seem- 
ingly casual preliminary questions of Communist military 
interrogators about their background, their training, and 
their briefings at various airfields, give any hint of the final 

Their questioners, however, worked with Moscow's breath 
on their necks. For on February 22nd, Pak Hen, North 
Korea's Foreign Minister, had denounced Bacterial Warfare 
to the world. Three days later from Peiping, the Chinese 
People's Committee for World Peace appealed on this sub- 
ject to the World Peace Committee (another Communist 
front setup) in Oslo. 

The Communist world propaganda artillery was wheeling 
into line. On February 27th the International Red Cross in 
Geneva was opening a telegram from the Red Cross in Buda- 
pest, Could it be that Dr. Etienne Florian, head of the 
Hungarian Red Cross, was finally answering that old query 
as to why Geneva's ton of medicines, once accepted by him 
"with joy," could not be delivered to North Korea? 


Instead it expressed the "profound indignation" of the 
Hungarian Red Cross that 


Furthermore, to clip from the record all stain of bourgeois 
cosmopolitanism, even Dr. Etienne Florian's name was now 
signed in its sternly orthodox Magyar form: 


Whatever small use the Communist world might have had 
for Geneva's medicines to save their war prisoners, they now 
found the International Red Cross useful as a sounding 
board for their propaganda. 

On February 29th die Polish Red Cross was telegraphing 
to Geneva its "PROFOUND INDIGNATION," f ollowed the 
next day by bellows from Bulgaria about this "NEW AND 
TIONS** (a document which, up to this point, had been 
completely ignored by all Communists), with the further 
threat to the International Red Cross that "ALL INACTIV- 

In similar tone the Romanian Red Cross (on March 6th) 
demanded of Geneva "IMMEDIATE ACTION ... TO 

As the Communists well knew, the International Red 
Cross had neither the right to investigate such charges (un- 
less the power to do so were given by both sides), nor 


authority to condemn. But the IRC now made the only 
move within its limited powers, which was to forward these 
protests to the National Red Cross Society of the Power in 
question (in this case Washington) which it did on March 
7th. Four days later came the American answer from Sec- 
retary of State Dean Acheson: 

Despite categorical denials . . . Communists continue 
to charge biological toarfare by the UN Command has 
caused an epidemic in Communist-held areas of Korea. 
I repeat that the United States has not engaged in any 
form of bacteriological warfare . . . would like to 
suggest that the International Red Cross make ... an 
investigation . . . given free access to all sources of 
possible information behind the United Nations lines . . . 

So there it was. The Communists could now have that 
International Red Cross action for which they telegraph- 
ically bellowed, provided only that they would give formal 

The next day (March 12th), from Geneva, Paul Ruegger 
cabled the North Korean Commander in Chief to get his 
permission, and proposing that, ". . . subject to agreement 
of both parties/* these bacteriological warfare charges would 
be investigated by "known specialists" whom the IRC "will 
itself select in Switzerland," plus ". . . scientific experts . . . 
of Asiatic countries not taking part in the conflict . . " 

From Washington came word that "the prompt action of 
the International Red Cross ... is greatly appreciated. The 
proposals . . . fully accepted." No word yet from Pyongyang, 
but Geneva set about assembling a committee of experts. 
They first cabled the Red Cross of neutral India for the 
services of "Dr. S. Raghavendra-Rao, Epidemiologist, As- 
sistant Director of Public Health, Hecherabad, and Dr. P. M. 
Wagle (plague expert), Director Haffldne Institute, Parel, 


Bombay," and also to Pakistan to enlist "Dr. Sharif, Chief 
Entomologist and Professor of Zoology, the University of 

What experts could be better qualified to trace the sources 
of an Asiatic plague? 

The trouble was that, at this point, an investigation by 
anybody was the last thing Pyongyang wanted. For at the 
moment all they had for evidence were stories from unlet- 
tered peasants about bugs seen crawling about on the snow, 
in regions where the sound of American planes recently had 
been heard. 

Although Lieutenants Enoch and Quinn were being held 
in solitary confinement, questioned endlessly, threatened 
with trial as war criminals, and promised repatriation only 
if they "confessed, 7 ' neither had, up to this point, given any- 
thing of value. Other American Air Force personnel were 
equally cunning or stubborn. Whatever small hope there 
then seemed to be of getting confessions would be shattered 
if ever the International Red Cross was admitted. 

While Moscow could not be wrong, Pyongyang was not 
yet in a position to prove that it was right. Until evidence 
was ready, the best defense against investigation was a vio- 
lent attack on the International Red Cross. This was now 
made by Radio Peiping, which charged that by agreeing to 
consider an investigation, the IRC had unmasked itself as a 
tool of Wall Street Imperialism. 

Plaintively, Paul Ruegger now (it was late March, *52) 
wired the Chinese Red Cross, citing all those protests on 
bacterial warfare with which all Iron Curtain Red Crosses 
had bombarded him, each demanding that Geneva act. Paul 
Ruegger pointed out to the Chinese Red Cross that the 
international body could and would act "ONLY IF CON- 


its president to have "RADIO PEKING RECTIFY ERRORS 

Surely, however, Paul Ruegger must have feared that 
these attacks were no careless accident; must have feared 
that Moscow ( through the English mouth of Allan Winning- 
ton as broadcast over Chinese Radio Peiping) was laying 
down the line, and that Stalin was refusing consent to an 
International Red Cross investigation. As of March 28th, 
however, this could only be a guess. 

Our Treatment of Theirs 
The Rising Storm 

IN early December of 1951, as International Red 
Cross Delegate Frederick Bieri toured our prison compounds 
at Pusan and on Koje, there had been no hint of trouble. 
He noted that in most compounds prisoners were crowding 
into classrooms to attend die "excellent" educational pro- 
gram we had set up. 

Dropping in on the North Korean Officers' Compound (all 
were passionately dedicated Communists), he noted that 
one was playing "the Merry Widow Waltz on a harmonicum" 
and that "five 'couples* were dancing." Its spokesman, a 
Senior Colonel Lee, assured Bieri that "cooperation with 
personnel of the Detaining Power [the United States Army] 
was good," and that his men had "no complaints/* 

In this period, the Americans had notified the IRC dele- 
gates (who had passed word on to Geneva) of a new camp 
on Koje Island. It was to hold a large number of persons 
who, when the war broke out, had been living in South 


Korea, but had later been captured in Communist uniform 

Behind this announcement lay a tangled tale. According 
to Colonel R. R. Ramsey, who handled this confusion for the 
Provost Marshal's office, in the huge bag of prisoners we took 
just after the Inchon landings some 50,000 swore they were 
loyal South Koreans, brutally impressed into the Communist 
armies by the invading North Koreans. 

In most cases this was true. Some, however, were North 
Korean Communists masquerading as South Koreans, hop- 
ing to escape prison camp. Still others had been South 
Korean. Communists who had willingly joined up, but now 
were pretending they had been shanghaied. 

In the beginning, however, taking their unsupported word, 
we had tentatively classified them as Civilian Internees. But 
we had asked President Syngman Rhee to provide us with 
screening committees representing every province of Korea, 
so that each man could be questioned by neighbors who 
would know how much (if any) of his story was true. 

This work was taking many months. Slowly the 50,000 
was shrinking. But secret Communists hidden among the 
50,000 had found that, in prison camps as run by these mad 
Americans, you need not even pretend to be anti-Com- 
munist to be treated well. 

In one such Civilian Internee compound (#62), holding 
6,000 men, a nucleus of trained Communist leaders, after 
murdering some of the opposition to frighten others, had 
seized control. They then announced to the Americans that 
the inmates, although born in South Korea, were to a man 
loyal members of the North Korean Army, and therefore 
wanted their Civilian Internee compound reclassified as a 
compound for prisoners of war to be returned, later, to the 

What was the truth? The bewildered American camp com- 
mander knew that certainly there were large numbers of 


terrorized anti-Communists still behind its barbed wire. His 
guess was that "about one half of the Civilian Internees 
desired to become POW again,** and, in order to separate 
the two factions, he ordered a second screening team of 
South Koreans to give its members individual interviews. 

Whereupon trouble started. The new Communist leaders 
of Compound #62 insisted they would permit no screening. 

American camp authorities then locked up 17 of these 
leaders in a small enclosure within the compound and, to 
help the screening teams keep order, imported 75 anti- 
Communist Civilian Internees from a neighboring com- 

At this point, "pro-and-con singing" of political songs 
began, and on the morning of December 23rd the 17 jailed 
Communists broke out of their small pen and, rushing in a 
flying wedge to the center of this compound of 6,000 men, 
rallied their Communist followers whereupon, according to 
the American camp commander, a simple, forthright soldier 
now dazzled by the subtleties of oriental politics, "a general 
uproar followed, in which everybody seemed to be chasing 
everybody else." 

The Communist leaders, now back in control, had first 
turned their attention to the 75 imported anti-Communist 
Civilian Internees, who, now badly scared and with good 
reason, "attempted to climb over the fence to escape their 

The ROK guards outside this compound, alarmed by the 
shindy, seeing men trying to escape from the compound and 
not knowing why, fired, killing four one of whom had been 
a fleeing anti-Communist and the others his vengeful 

At this point, the American commander, arriving on the 
battlefield, had taken over. He ordered the ROK guards to 


fire one shot in the air, as an assertion of authority. He then 
ordered all the prisoners to squat, regardless of politics. 

He informed all these squatters that "every man who 
wished to avoid further political complications could leave 
the compound." Some 800 instantly took advantage of this, 
which left the Communist leaders in undisputed control of 
Compound #62. 

Short of a real screening, no one could be sure how many 
frightened anti-Communists remained, but the American 
camp commander told Swiss Delegate Bieri that meanwhile 
"Compound #62 is to be considered a Communist compound 
... to which Communist Civilian Internees from other com- 
pounds . . . will be sent" as the screening teams processed 

In order to get the other side of this picture, Swiss Dele- 
gate Bieri interviewed the Communist leaders of Compound 
#62. Their version was that the 75 anti-Communist Civilian 
Internees brought into their compound to help keep order 
had been imported "for the express purpose of beating and 
torturing them." The shooting by the ROK guards from out- 
side the compound had been "unwarranted and unneces- 
sary." And the head spokesman insisted that Senior Colonel 
Lee, spokesman for the North Korean officers' compound 
(Communist), be "permitted to visit them." 

This request was denied by the Americans, but Bieri him- 
self went to call on Senior Colonel Lee, who had heard of the 
events in Civilian Internee Compound #62. As ranking Com- 
munist officer, it was his duty to help keep them in line. To 
Bieri he was now gloomily certain the Americans would 
never let the civilian internees go back to North Korea.* 

Turning now to other prison compounds, Swiss Delegate 
Bieri found that in all of them a strong political ferment was 
baffling the American authorities. On the issue of where 

* But Senior Colonel Lee was wrong. W. L. W. 


they wanted to go after the war, prisoners were deposing 
compound spokesmen and electing new ones sometimes 
Communist, sometimes anti-Communist. 

Passing one Korean POW compound, he was surprised to 
find "a few hundred prisoners squatting in orderly rows in 
front of the exit" and learned that they were "the former 
spokesman's favorites. . . . They were now frightened of 
reprisals from the 'new party' and desired to transfer to 
another compound." 

The Chinese prisoners were also restless, and in one com- 
pound a colonel wanted permission to visit two other Chinese 
compounds because, as he told Bieri, he was 'Very much 
concerned about the political situation there." On the ques- 
tion of whether or not they should go to Formosa after the 
war, the colonel feared that "pressure is being applied 
amongst the POW themselves/* 

This Chinese colonel, although loyal to his Communist 
government, "recognized that some POW desire to go to 
Formosa but would, in the interests of a 'peaceful life,* like 
to see a strict division made between the two factions." 

After visiting, on January 16th, two huge Korean Com- 
pounds (#9 and #10) near Pusan, Delegate Bieri fortunately 
wrote a report summarizing the whole political situation in 
our prison compounds as of that hour. 

Much later in 1953, after anti-Communists among these 
prisoners, who rejected repatriation, were in custody of the 
neutral Indians at Kaesong, the Communist side was to 
charge that they had been prevented from asking repatri- 
ation by terrorists sent among them by "the puppet Rhee" 
or assassins sent up from Formosa by "the bandit Chiang,** 
under direction of the Americans. 

But these charges are refuted almost two years before 
they were made, by Swiss Delegate Bierfs picture of the 
situation as of January 1952, when he found that: 


in spite of their personal worries concerning repatriation, the 
majority of the prisoners seem to be content The [American] 
Camp authorities are doing their best to keep "political 
peace" inside the compounds. 

Many spokesmen have informed the Delegate of their 
grave concern over repatriation. 

There are North and South Koreans (both Prisoners and 
Civilian Internees) who wish to return to North Korea. 

There are North and South Koreans (both Prisoners and 
Internees) who desire to remain in South Korea. 

Many men at present living in dose contact with those of 
opposite ideologies are scared to express their real opinion. 

Others have been forced by their comrades to make state- 
ments which are contrary to their wishes. 

The effects of political pressure from both sides, as applied 
by the prisoners themselves, can be clearly observed. 

The situation called for a fair and thorough screening, as 
previously suggested by Swiss Delegate Lehner, if only to 
keep the peace. But in many compounds, this was opposed 
by militants of both sides. 


MOST other Armistice issues had been settled 
when, in January 1952, the ticklish matter of prisoner ex- 
change finally came up for discussion in the truce tent. 

The United Nations negotiators demanded that the Com- 
munists return, as prisoners of war, all South Koreans drafted 
into their armies. This the Cbmmunist side angrily refused 
to do: all, they insisted, had been voluntary recruits. 


How many prisoners did they hold? On this point, for 
many months, they were curiously vague. In March of 1951 
they had loudly boasted they held a grand total of 65,000. 
A year had passed, during which we knew they had captured 
more, bringing the total up to an estimated 75,000. 

Yet, except for those few early names of American pris- 
oners, they had sent Geneva no lists. 

The facts were that 11% of the prisoners we were now 
capturing told us they were former South Korean soldiers 
who had been shanghaied into the Communist armies. North 
Korean Marshal Kim II Sung could not deny this, for we 
cited front-line broadcasts in which the Communist loud- 
speaker would roar: 

"I am an ex-Republic of Korea soldier, now leading an 
easy life in the Korean People's Army!" 

We proposed now that those who wished to return be 
exchanged on a man-for-man basis, and that the Interna- 
tional Red Cross should interview all soldiers of each army, 
to make sure that none was detained against his will. 

For in his report of the previous November, Swiss Dele- 
gate Otto Lehner had hinted that, if asked to act by both 
sides, this could be a proper concern of the International 
Red Cross. 

This proposal the Communists rejected as "barbarous" a 
plot to kidnap more than 100,000 of their men. They attacked 
the International Red Cross as un-neutral. 

Hoping contact might remove this prejudice, the United 
Nations one day brought to Panmunjom Dr. Otto Lehner, 
now Senior International Red Cross Delegate, for an inter- 
view with the Communist negotiators. 

Its only result was a violent attack on Lehner, on January 
19th, by Radio Peiping, in which Allan Winnington, British 
Communist and correspondent of the London Daily Worker, 
charged that Lehner: 


spent the war years in Berlin, and lent his services to Adolf 
Hitler by visiting Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in 
Czechoslovakia. After this, his Red Cross issued a scandalous 
report describing the pleasures and benefits of life in Hitler's 
concentration camps.* Lehner is now here for what he de- 
scribes as "non-political" motives. . . . His service to Hitler 
was also non-political. 

A little later this was followed by a second Wilmington 
attack charging the IRC with complicity in the American 
action in reclassifying as "Civilian Internees" those South 
Koreans recaptured by us who had been shanghaied into the 
North Korean Army: 

if the International Red Cross is willing to allow 44,000 
names it compiled as POWs to be wiped off its own lists by 
the Americans without raising protest, they are not regarded 
as entirely reliable to protect this side's prisoners of war with- 
out some other check. 

Actually, what could or should the International Red 
Cross have done? It compiles no lists of prisoners. It takes 
the lists of the Detaining Power, and transmits them to the 
other side. 

When we notified the IRC that those men had been re- 
classified as Civilian Internees (still enjoying every benefit 
of Geneva), the IRC then followed the only course within 
its power, which was to transmit this information to the 

When Mr. Winnington was snarling into that Communist 
microphone about prisoner lists, he and the other Commu- 
nists knew that, for their part, they had given the Interna- 
tional Red Cross no lists whatever of the estimated 75,000 
prisoners the Communist side had taken, except for those 

* A sentence untrue in its every detail. W. L. W. 


two token lists of 110 Americans captured in the war's open- 
ing weeks. 

And during those World War II years, just what was Dr. 
Otto Lehner doing in Berlin? He was giving International 
Red Cross protection to hundreds of thousands of Allied 
prisoners in German hands, including those of Great Britain, 
the protection of whose passport Mr. Winnington enjoyed.* 

He was enjoying it while he was in Korea, helping spread 
Communist propaganda among other British prisoners and 
(as we shall soon see) retouching the fake Germ Warfare 
"conf essions" of American pilots, which could be forced from 
them only because they did not have International Red 
Cross protection. 

Our Treatment of Theirs 

Compound #62 

BACK on Koje Island, more premonitory earth 
tremors were coming from turbulent Compound #62. Since 
each inmate had once sworn he was a loyally anti-Commu- 
nist South Korea, they were still nominally classified as Civil 
Internees. But the Communist leaders who had recently 
taken control now asked, in early February, for permission 
to celebrate the anniversary of the North Korean Army, of 
which (they insisted) all were loyal members. 

So it was observed in that compound with Communist 

*A more complete historical account of the USSR's relations 
with the International Red Cross, which still guide the policy of Soviet 
satellites, has its proper place in this volume's final chapter. W. L. W. 


speeches, banners, and songs, all with the indulgent permis- 
sion of the American authorities.* 

Next day the visiting IRC delegate, dropping in on a 
routine visit, found the spokesmen violently against the pro- 
posed re-screening. On this point the delegate tried to argue, 
pointing out that since each had once signed a document 
swearing he was a loyal South Korean who desired to remain 
in that country, it was not unreasonable for the Americans 
now to ask each if he had changed his mind. 

Firmly, the spokesman told him that the men would not 
allow it. They were, he insisted, unanimously pro-Commu- 
nist, and pressure had been brought on them in the first 
screening. The spokesman also complained that men from 
anti-Communist Korean compounds, passing theirs, had 
chucked rocks into it. The Americans also had had the 
effrontery to ask them to take down their Communist flags, 
now that the celebration was over. 

Obediently, the neutral Swiss went away to transmit these 
complaints and declarations to the American commander. 
Returning, he told the Communist spokesman that the 
Americans had said the banners and decorations should be 
taken down. 

Whereupon these frisky, well-fed Communist leaders of 
Compound #62 sent back word to their American captors 
that they intended to fly their Communist flags "as long and 
as often as they wanted to." 

The Swiss now departed, but on February 18th news of 
an explosion and shooting sent the IRC delegates running 
back to Compound #62. They found pandemonium. The 

* To an American alumnus of CkMnmunist-run prison camps on 
the Yalu, this degree of political freedom will seem fantastic. It would have 
been unthinkable for their Chinese wardens to allow an American flag, song, 
or patriotic speech. W. L. W. 


better part of an American regiment had arrived in trucks, 
which were drawn up around it. Safe inside their wire, the 
prisoners were roaring Communist battle songs and waving 
red flags. 

The Swiss first listened to the American camp commander, 
Colonel Fitzgerald. He had orders that all Civilian Internees 
were to be re-screened "privately and individually," allowing 
each to say with no fear of coercion if he wanted to be 
repatriated after the war. 

After interminable and fruitless discussions with Com- 
pound #62's Communist spokesmen, the camp authorities 
had decided that troops would be needed. 

These had quietly entered the compound at night, when 
most prisoners were asleep. By dawn the tents had been 
divided into small groups, which could be more easily han- 
dled. The screening was going smoothly until the Commu- 
nist leaders had incited a POW battalion to attack the UN 

The well-prepared Communists "were heavily armed with 
iron bars, clubs, homemade weapons, barbed wire and large 
stones." This assault wave had advanced flying "Commu- 
nist banners and flags" and throwing "homemade hand 

Casualties had been 79 inmates killed and 142 hospital- 
ized; one American soldier had been killed and several 

Although Colonel Fitzgerald had not been there at the 
time, he had, when told of the bloodshed, "ordered the with- 
drawal of the troops." 

At this juncture Colonel Fitzgerald passes from the scene, 
for he was replaced, on orders from Tokyo, by the command- 
ing figure of Brigadier General Dodd. Perhaps (who knew?) 
he would do better; we were presently to find out. 


Meanwhile, the Gentle Gentlemen of Geneva, ever scru- 
pulous in getting both sides, were back in Compound #62 
interviewing its victorious Communist spokesmen. Accord- 
ing to them, this riot was only a final instance of unprovoked 
capitalist aggression against helpless Marxist captives. 

The treachery had begun when the troops had entered 
the compound "at 4 in the morning" circling all tents, includ- 
ing that of the head spokesman, who complained he "had 
no chance to speak to the camp authorities." 

As for the Communist attack, the spokesman professed 
total ignorance as to where that carefully prepared arsenal 
of handmade weapons had come from. The inmates, who 
had been ordered to stay in their tents, out of curiosity 
merely "came out to find out what was going on." 

And if they had advanced on the Americans, this was only 
in a vain attempt to "talk to the commander of the troops," 
not to murder him. 

The Communist spokesman's demands, as transmitted by 
the Swiss to General Dodd, included ( 1 ) that the 79 bodies 
be returned (for future burial in North Korea), (2) that no 
more troops come into their compound, and (3) that their 
report on this be sent to the Secretary General of the United 

The Swiss agreed to transmit this last; other "demands" 
were refused by General Dodd. 

Three days later, having slightly cooled down, the spokes- 
man told the Swiss the compound might submit to screening 
provided that (1) no troops entered their compound and 
(2) none be transferred to another compound, This would 
nullify the screening, since the Communist leaders would 
remain in control and could murder defectors. 

General Dodd, however, told the Swiss he had "superior 
orders'* to go ahead with the screening as planned, where- 


upon the Swiss officially, ceremoniously, and neutrally 
warned him of the "danger he would be in if force were 

The general was presently to be in more of it than the 
Swiss then dreamed. 

Meanwhile, other compounds were boiling. On March 
13th some ROK guards, shepherding some prisoners from 
Compound #93 (anti-Communist), drove them alongside 
the wire of Compound #92 (Communist). 

Whereupon the two compounds began heaving rocks at 
each other, "on account" (says the chaste language of the 
International Red Cross report) "of differences of political 

But a number of Communist-thrown rocks bounced off the 
ROK guards, who mercurially opened fire, which "killed 
12 prisoners of war and wounded 26." 

Surveying this and other incidents, the International Red 
Cross now recommended that we: 

(1) "Withdraw the South Korean guards from Koje-do" 
(they were trigger-happy). 

(2) "Avoid political demonstrations of any kind, and in 
particular the . . . political program of the Civil Information 
and Education Service for Prisoners of War." They had once 
praised our educational program as "excellent," but now 
politics had become a "constant source of incidents." (Per- 
haps if the prisoners had neither Communist banners nor 
American documentary films to inflame them, their political 
temperatures would fall. ) 

(3) And lastly the Swiss recommended "Distribution of 
the enormous Koje-do camp amongst smaller camps, which 
would be more easily controlled." 

Here they were surely right But when at long last (on 
June 10th) we moved to do exactly this, it was to earn for 
us our sharpest Red Cross rebuke of the war. 



MEANWHILE, in the Armistice tent at Panmunjom 
there seemed room for some cautious optimism that a settle- 
ment might be in sight. The Communists insisted they now 
held only 11,551 prisoners, and would not discuss what had 
happened to the remaining fifty-three-odd thousand they 
had boasted in March 1951. 

In March of 1952, our position now was that each should 
repatriate all prisoners who would not forcibly resist return. 
Late in the month we pointed out that a good many of the 
170,000 we then held* would refuse to go back. 

The good omen was that the Communists at this news did 
not instantly explode in fury. Instead, quite reasonably they 
wanted to know just how many would refuse. We had to 
confess we could only guess. 

Now came a pivotal moment which no one in the tent then 
thought was of the slightest importance. On April 2, 1952, 
as they sat around the table, China's Colonel Tsi spoke up 

Why, he asked, did we not screen them, so that ttfey could 
know just how many non-returnees this would involve? 

We pointed out that this would take some time. Colonel 
Tsi, now the most reasonable of men, agreed. He went on to 
suggest that the Armistice negotiations might adjourn, until 
we could complete the screening. 

Both of these sensible proposals were now adopted. But 

* That figure included approximately 37,000 reclassified as 
Civilian Internees. W. L. W. 


just before the meeting broke up, we came in with an after- 
thought. A good many of the prisoners we held seemed ap- 
prehensive about what might happen when they got back to 
their Communist homelands. 

So now, we continued, it might be helpful if they gave us 
an amnesty statement, which we could read to their men, 
promising a warm welcome on their return. 

They agreed to furnish this as easily as we had accepted 
their idea of a screening. April 2nd was a Red-letter day of 
Capitalist-Communist harmony at Panmunjom. The Leninist 
Lamb seemed to doze contentedly, cuddled against the flank 
of the purring Wall Street Lion. 

Bacterial Warfare 

IN the closing days of March 1952, the Interna- 
tional Red Cross in Geneva waited in suspense for the Com- 
munist answer to the proposed investigation of Bacterial 
Warfare. Was one Chinese radio attack to be the only word? 

On March 29th and from Oslo came the final Communist 
response. In that city the fellow-traveling Committee for 
World Peace now listened as Korean and Chinese delegates 
explained that, while they wanted an investigation, they 
"did not consider the IRC sufficiently free from political 
influence/' Then who? They also rejected the World Health 
Organization. It also was politically polluted. 

What the Communists wanted (and got) was a committee 
of experts picked not by the "political" Swiss, but by that 
icily neutral figure, "Dr. Kuo Mo Jo, President of Academia 
Sinica [the Chinese Academy], also of the Chinese Peace 


Committee."* It was further to meet not immediately, but 
at a later time of Communist choosing. 

For currently all they would have to show were collections 
of presumably infected bugs, leaves, and feathers, which 
excited peasants said could have been dropped by American 
planes. It was not until May 5 that "statements of consider- 
able length, admitting their participation in bacteriological 
warfare"! could be extorted from Lieutenants Enoch and 
Quinn almost four months after their capture. So the Com- 
munists, in picking their International Scientific Commission, 
could ( and did ) move at a snail's pace. 

Meanwhile, Geneva's effort to get the Bacterial Warfare 
evidence before unbiased experts collapsed. In his original 
message to the Communist side Paul Ruegger cabled: 

REJECTED. [They got none.] 

On April 25th Ruegger was sadly notifying Washington 
that since no answer had come, "The International Red Cross 
is suspending technical preparations. . . " Thus it quietly 

All these weeks interrogators had been working in relays 
on Lieutenants Enoch and Quinn, held in separate solitary 

* Report of the International Scientific Commission for the 
Investigation of Facts Concerning Bacterial Warfare in Korea and China, 
p. 4. 

t Ibid. 

| Later, in defending the IRC Against Communist attacks, its 
President Paul Ruegger gave himself the luxury of one retort: 

"The IRC has been accused of being a 'depraved lackey' of the Ameri- 
can government since, when the US asked that an investigation be opened, 
the IRC declared itself ready to organize one. 

"It might just as well be claimed that the IRC was [now] in the pay of 
North Korea, since it was sufficient for this government to refuse an investi- 
gation, for the IRC to abandon it." 


confinement. They were told, explains Enoch, that they were 
"war criminals who would be tried, convicted, and never see 
America again. But if they cooperated, each would be a 
^People's Hero/ entitled to the Lenient Treatment Policy. 7 * 
So "insanity, death, or these absurd confessions," explains 
Enoch, "were the alternatives." 

During the first week in May, Enoch and Quinn finally 
broke under the weight of these threats. Neither foresaw the 
consequences, Enoch explaining that he finally "fabricated 
to keep them happy." 

The trouble was that the Chinese could only be kept 
happy at an increasingly high price. Soon they introduced 
him to Wilfred C. Burchett, an Australian Communist jour- 
nalist, who was given the first draft of Enoch's Germ Warfare 

Delighted to see a Western face, Enoch confided to 
Burchett that the whole thing was false. 

"Are you trying to tell me," said Burchett angrily, "that 
this isn't so?" 

Only then did Enoch discover that Burchett was in North 
Korea to cover the Communist side of the war for Ce Soir, 
the Paris counterpart of the Daily Worker. 

Burchett's immediate assignment, however, was to give 
literary form and style to Enoch's confession, shaping it up 
for a movie which General Wang, the propaganda chief, 
now ordered that Enoch make. This Burchett prepared in 
Enoch's room with the aid of a portable typewriter and a 
bottle of vodka, for Enoch reports he was "drunk every time 
I saw him I believe he is a chronic alcoholic always glass 
after glass of brandy, vodka, or wine." 

Later they brought in two visiting French journalists Yve 
Farge and Claude Roi. Enoch whispered to Roi that he 
should "watch out for Burchett he's a Chinese agent!" 

Whereupon Roi gave Enoch a vigorous lecture, for by a 


queer turn of fortune's wheel, it turned out that Roi also 
was a Communist. And when Enoch protested that this was 
almost treason, since French troops were fighting in Korea, 
Roi answered that the troops were released criminals, and 
later informed on Enoch both to Burchett and the other 
Communists. Only slowly did Enoch come to understand 
that, in North Korea, not even the Caucasians could be 

The Doctor remembers that "In early May [probably just 
after the Enoch-Qnirm 'confessions'] the recently captured 
Air Force prisoners were removed from Camp II one by 
one we didn't know why." 

This would indicate that, at least in the early stages, the 
Chinese themselves believed that Enoch and Quinn were 
telling the truth. The Communists* first step in this "brain- 
washing" had been to send their own minds to their own 

The original Moscow fabricator of the Bacterial Warfare 
theory may have considered it only a shrewd guess. But out 
in the Marxist hinterland, it had become gospel. The Enodb- 
Quinn confessions now were the needed miracle which 
proved the creed. 

In this period, confessions extorted under pressure had 
become the cornerstone of Soviet justice; were in fact the 
basis on which Stalin had risen to power. 

Within the far-flung Communist Intellectual Empire, 
doubt of such confessions was then a forbidden luxury.* In 
that spring of 1952, Communist interrogators must have 
been sure they had the truth. Studying the "fabrications" of 
Enoch and Quinn, they based on them a careful timetable. 
According to this, American Bacterial Warfare had begun 

* Exactly such confessions and convictions based on them have 
since been roundly denounced by Stalin's successors, in their promise of 
reform in the Soviet judicial system. W. L. W. 


only in late 1951. So questioning earlier Air Force captives 
would be pointless. 

Most pilots who went through the ordeal came out con- 
vinced that, certainly in the early stages, their questioners 
were sure we had been dropping germs. 

"All right/* said one pilot, broken by months of pounding 
questions and threats of non-repatriation, "111 say anything 
you want. What do you want me to sign?" 

The questioner was horrified. "We want only the truth," 
he said solemnly, "and only you can tell us what this is." 

Then followed weary weeks. For the pilot now had to 
work out a confession which, in each tiny detail, squared 
with everything he had previously said, as well as with 
"facts" the Communists thought they knew about American 
Bacterial Warfare from other airmen's confessions a 
minutely embroidered fabric of plausible and carefully mem- 
orized lies. Only then was the conscientious interrogator 

Below this level, there were among the interrogators vary- 
ing degrees of doubt or cynicism, most of which developed 

One questioner might come to believe that maybe his par- 
ticular pilot knew nothing of Bacterial Warfare. This did 
not mean to him, however, that confessions gotten by other 
interrogators were necessarily false. And there was always 
the chance that his pilot had outwitted him to his eternal 
discredit in the Communist intelligence service. 

Once the confessions began, they started a slow-motion 
stampede among about half the airmen. For, when one heard 
tape recordings of other Americans "confessing" to Bacterial 
Warfare, he knew they had bought promise of release with 
these lies. So, if he stubbornly held out, he might end his 
days forgotten in some remote Siberian stockade. 

Of the 38 "confessions" those which were to be used for 


propaganda purposes went through a final stage of literary 
polishing usually performed by Winnington or Burchett, 
who pointed up drama and added pathos to the "confessions'* 
of Lieutenants Enoch, Quinn, O'Neil, Kniss, and Ayres and 
Colonels Mahurin and Evans. 

Commenting on his supposed orders to drop germs, Lieu- 
tenant O'Neil told Communist sound cameras, "I was coward 
enough to do as I was told. Why are we using this barbarous 
weapon when peace talks go on? When I think of my future, 
how can I tell my son, how can I tell my family, that I am a 

Similarly, Lieutenant Paul Kniss, narrating his return from 
a supposed Germ mission, confides to the Communist micro- 
phones that "a shower may clean my body, but my soul will 
never be clean!'* 

The appearance of this pair of British Communist literary 
undertakers was the first hint which Enoch and Quinn had 
that their fabrications, made privately to keep Communist 
interrogators "happy /* were to be spread around the world. 
It was now, they felt, too late to turn back. 

As a dress rehearsal to the main propaganda show to come, 
several airmen were brought to the enlisted men's compound 
in Camp V to recite their memorized confessions and answer 
questions. Only tape recordings, however, were played over 
the loud-speaker system to the officers in Camp II. 

America's denial had not yet reached them, so now there 
were many arguments. Half the officers thought we might 
have been using Bacterial Warfare, and why not? For a pest 
which destroys crops is only another form of the food block- 
ade, a legalized form of warfare. And a disease, from which 
there is some hope of recovery, is surely more humane than 
being blown to bits by a shell. 

The Doctor, however, arguing with their Chinese head of 
indoctrination, a man of some education, said, 


"Sun, you couldn't possibly believe this!" 

Sun shrugged his shoulders. "But it is the truth/* he said, 
smiling. Meaning, says The Doctor, that at least it was the 
Party Line. 

The Ranger, then serving a sentence in solitary confine- 
ment near Camp II, was given printed copies of the confes- 
sions and asked his indoctrinator, 

"Tsai, how much torture did you have to put these men 
through to get them to sign this?" 

'That's a funny thing about Americans," Tsai answered. 
"Just throw them in the hole [solitary confinement] a couple 
of weeks, and they'll sign anything." 

Many prisoners think that, at least among the more sophis- 
ticated Chinese, there were already doubts as to some of the 
confessions. Which, they say, may be why none of the Air 
Force people called out for questioning on Germ Warfare 
were ever returned to the camp, but instead were kept 
isolated until repatriation. 

For if even one had told his friends his confession was 
false, this would have cast doubt on all. As for those pilots 
who had resisted, had they been sent back, this would have 
encouraged others to hold out. 

In late June of 1952 the curtain r6se on the main propa- 
ganda show with the arrival in Peiping of the Communist- 
picked International Scientific Commission. 

The International Red Cross had wanted experts familiar 
with oriental conditions, and with no strong affiliations to 
any creed but science. 

By contrast, most of the Communist-chosen scientists had 
long records of friendly fellow-traveler relations with the 
Party, but only two had experience with conditions in Asia. 

Dr. Andrea Andreen was director of the Clinical Labora- 
tory of the City of Stockholm, a town which has not had a 
typhus epidemic since the Middle Ages. 


Jean Malterre described himself as an "agricultural engi- 
neer and laboratory director in animal physiology." 

Oliviero OHvo was a professor of human anatomy in the 
University of Bologna. 

Samuel Passoa was a professor of parasitology at the 
University of Sao Paulo. 

Sir Joseph Needham, a reader in biochemistry at Cam- 
bridge University, was probably the best qualified, since he 
had learned Chinese while scientific counsellor at the British 
Embassy in Chungking. 

But Dr. N. N. Zhukov-Verechnikov ranked them all in 
Communist authority. For not only was he a professor of 
bacteriology in the Soviet Academy of Medicine, but he had 
given medical testimony in a Soviet propaganda trial of 
Japanese ex-servicemen charged in 1945 with Bacterial War- 
fare against the Chinese. And, according to Communist 
theory, it was from these Japanese that America had later 
learned this dark art.* 

This group first spent two weeks in Peiping studying as- 
sembled documents which previously had been sent by the 
Koreans and Chinese to a World Peace Council in Prague. 
They also perused the January and February reports of the 
Korean Medical Service. They were furnished with copies of 
"confessions" of American prisoners and even "relevant" 
press clippings denouncing Germ Warfare. 

The third week of July they passed in more studies at 
Mukden, Manchuria, and, beginning July 28th, spent three 
days in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital. Returning north, 
they spent two days talking (under proper chaperonage) 

* The Japanese experiences should have discouraged us. For, if 
this Soviet evidence can be believed, extensive Japanese Germ air raids, 
earned out over a period of several years, caused lie death of less than a 
thousand Chinese a most pusillanimous form of warfare, surely not worth 
its cost in gasoline and flying hours. W. L. W. 


with the "confessed" American pilots before settling down 
in Peiping to write their report. 

This document shows every evidence of sincerity. How- 
ever friendly they were toward Communism, the scientists 
made every effort to hold onto scientific method, if only for 
the sake of their professional reputations. 

Overwhelmed with a mass of data bugs, leaves, beetles, 
houseflies, human lice, dead rats, chicken lice, and even 
clams which peasants said had been found under suspicious 
circumstances after the passage of American planes they 
frankly said they lacked "perfect proof," which would be a 
plane "forced down with its biological cargo intact, and its 
crew prepared to admit their proceedings forthwith." 

While they praised the zeal of their Chinese and Korean 
"comrades" in collecting bugs, they carefully pointed out 
that the "difficulty, which remained insuperable, was the 
fact that . . . classification of many groups of insects in the 
Chinese sub-continent remains unknown." In other words, 
these strange bugs need not have been dropped by capi- 
talist warmongers, but could well have wandered to where 
they were found on their own legs or wings. Therefore, sur- 
veying the mass, they could only say that "in certain cases, 
certain insects had at least never before been recorded, from 
areas in which they now appeared in great numbers." 

Nevertheless, they strove to make some semblance of sci- 
entific sense of the piles of bugs hopefully submitted by their 
hosts. There was the Case of the Isomata, which are "primi- 
tive, wingless insects," which develop deep in "damp soils 
rich in humus." What deadly purpose had it served America 
to infect and broadcast these? To explain our methods, they 
constructed an elaborate diagram. The infected Isomata, 
according to our cunning plan, would presently be uprooted 
by a "lower mammalsconceivably a pig. If the pig in turn 
Had "ecto-parasites (fleas, mites, etc.)," these would pick up 


the disease from the Isomata. And from this point the in- 
fected flea (still according to our sinister plan) need make 
but a short leap to scramble aboard the first passing Korean, 
to bring him down with the disease. 

But this was nothing to compare with our alleged cunning 
in the Dai-dong Incident, where "a country girl picking 
herbs on the hillside found a straw package containing a 
certain kind of clam" a salt-water variety, by the way. 

Did she worry about where the clams might have come 
from? Or how long they might have been lying out on that 
hillside? Not this country girl. Instead, "she and her husband 
made a meal of them raw," so no one should be surprised 
that "by the evening of the following day, both of them 
were dead." 

But then someone in the village remembered that the 
night before she found her clams "a plane had been heard," 
and "thus the Commission could only conclude that Ameri- 
can Air Force bombing units, following a careful plan," had 
been trying to pinpoint the local water supply with infected 
clam-bombs, and that "the young couple who died, impov- 
erished by war's devastation/' had been foully done in by a 
stickful of mollusks which had landed slightly off-target. 

But why, when we were clam-bombing a fresh-water 
brook, had we been so silly as to use salt-water clams? Even 
the Commission of World Fellow-Traveling Scientists agreed 
that this might "be thought bizarre/' until they came up with 
an answer. 

We had (they were sure) discovered that the mouth of a 
clam is an ideal breeding place for cholera organisms. Our 
salt-water clams, striking unfamiliar fresh water, would im- 
mediately close their mouths and then, "during their slow 
osmotic death in fresh water, the mollusks would serve as 
natural culture-vessels for the cholera vibrios." 

But the end is not yet. We had also foreseen that, in their 


final death rattles, our choleraphorus clams would open wide 
their mouths, thus liberating enough cholera vibrios "to 
contaminate the drinking water, for a period likely to be of 
the order of thirty days." 

Yet the apex of our cunning surely was our 'Taper Con- 
tainer with Paper Parachute (Self-Destroying)" which sup- 
posedly came about in this wise: Although in many instances 
the scientists were shown containers in which infected mate- 
rials could have been packed (empty leaflet containers, 
burned-out parachute flares, etc.), in other regions the 
peasants were mystified because, although they had col- 
lected dead rats and suspicious insects in piles, they could 
find no containers from which these objects had been 

The scientists now came to the rescue. For mixed deliv- 
eries, say of infected rats and diseased clams, they theorized 
that "the container would be of strong paper, and would 
include several compartments" (so that the rats would not 
en route eat their fellow-travelers, the clams), but con- 
structed so that both "would be gently liberated after the 
container had opened on touching the ground." But the 
whole would "carry a fuse, so arranged as to be able to ignite 
both the container and the paper (or impregnated silk para- 
chute) when the proper moment arrived" so that, with dis- 
eased rats and infected clams hopping off in pursuit of the 
nearest Communist, "no trace would be left" of our crime. 

This explanation satisfied not only the villagers, but the 
entire Communist world. Yet the scientists themselves ex- 
pressed wistful bafflement because, "of this interesting type, 
BO eocample was seen by the Commission, nor had the cap 
tared airmen any information to give about it."* 

Yet in fairness to these befuddled scientists, clearly they 

* British readers wffl be interested in the fact that Sir Joseph 
NeedMom, vfco signed tfcfe refwrt, is a FeBow of the Royal Society. W. L. W. 

I &':'*' ' " ' . vJHLfc. 

i -w. 


It was a war of Ideas. To the Koreans, the Communists offered this Victory 
poster showing a Soviet-built tank shattering flimsy American weapons 

A *'..], ;.' '-itMi'i'i "ii yfrrLM l/IrM' I^T '<> '<'g&'rt w Vf f 


-as UN troops shoved them back across the parallel, they left behind, 
chalked on walk, messages such as this scrawl signed by the Chinese 
People's Volunteer Forces attempting (with the inevitable class angle) to 
woo American soldiers out of the struggle and back home. In our 
propaganda to them 



-we wooed them by sound truck close to the front, and also by propaganda 
leaflets including safe-conduct passes (lower right) promising them only 
good food and decent treatment if they surrendered, as about 171,000 
did-coming across the lines waving the passes. We kept our 


We first questioned our new captives (above) often assigning them to 
prison compounds according to political faith. Our medical care (below) 

was perfect. 


This Chinese propaganda plioto (above) shows their care of ours, 
only about 38% of whom got back alive. But we (below) even gave 
their prisoners dentistry. 


This surly pro-Communist 
hancho (center, left) killed 
5 anti-Communists in order 
to get control of his Com- 
pound. But anti-Communists 

took pride in decorating even their pagoda-style entrance gates and proudly 
paraded (above) under home-made US, UN, and Free China flags. 

On our food (alwrc) prisoners gained 2 pounds per month. On theirs, 

most American prisoners died, but survivors (below) were fattened 

for return. 

Our surrender leaflets showed Chinese prisoners (above) playing 
Mah-jong. Their propaganda pictures show ours (below) playing cards. 


This anti-Communist Chinese POW string quintet (above) made banjos 
by stretching rat-skins over sound boxes. Band (below) hammered 
tomato cans into trumpets. 

Prisoners we held put on anti-Communist vaudeville skits 

writing their own dialogue at which POW audiences (below) howled 

with delight. 

Our Chinese prisoners carve Stalin (above) with one hand on China, 
reaching with the other to grab Korea, and (below) reclining while 

urinating on China. 

To show anti-Communist fervor, this prisoner has tattoo marks first in 
Chinese, and, below them, in English; "To oppose the Reds and destroy 

Oiir (Vmiwm:*t i<vs, expert in politics, haiulkd their anti-Communist 

pnWiiii wills niMtims and dispatch. These 1 anti-Soviet Korean civilians 

tlirl St-ff .it T.Vgll, 


Our pro-Communist prisoners, here being returned, discarded the stout U.S. 
clothing and went back waving North Korean flags made from 
U.S. materials. 


This returning American prisoner had not seen an American flag since he 
was captured, and takes this opportunity to salute the first one 
he glimpses. 


were convinced, not by these bugs, feathers, and dead rats, 
but by the "confessions" of the American pilots, who, after 
rehearsal under Chinese General Wang, seem to have put on 
a flawless two-day production. 

The scientists found the airmen "fully normal and in per- 
feet health," noted that they "spoke in a natural way and 
seemed fully at their ease." The Commission became con- 
vinced (and it does not state how) that the airmen had not 
been "subjected to any physical or mental pressure, and that 
their treatment was worthy of the best traditions of Chinese 

The Hollywood B-picture adjectives with which Winning- 
ton and Burchett had beefed up the confessions completely 
fetched the scientists, who found the airmen had been, even 
before capture, "disgusted by the ferocity with which they 
were being hounded on to slaughter the civilian population,** 
which brought about a "revulsion of feeling* when "after 
their capture they were treated in such a friendly way by the 
Koreans and Chinese." 

Still, some items perplexed the scientists. The Chinese 
interrogators, convinced that these early "confessions'* were 
true, had made little effort to coordinate their details by 
asking the proper leading questions. So each pilot, to keep 
the Chinese <c happy," had in solitary confinement followed 
his own imagination in "fabricating** his confession. 

There were wild differences in details. The altitudes at 
which they said they had been ordered to fly varied. De- 
scriptions of germ containers did not jibe. One pilot said we 
sprayed germs from a special squadron of converted crop- 
dusters. Another favored bombs, with which his plane had 
been armed by a mysterious crew of scientists wearing ster- 
ilized white gowns and gloves. No other pilot had noted such 
ghostly figures. 

Back in Peiping, as they carefully studied the separate 


confessions, even the scientists noted these differences. But 
by now they were thoroughly brainwashed; had, in fact, 
arrived in Asia eager for the laundromat. So they found a 
quick answer. Such "discrepancies," they noted, "seem 
merely to reflect modifications of methods introduced by the 
Americans" successive stages of our advancement in the 
art of bacterial mass-murder. 

On September 18, 1952, their report was issued from 
Peiping. Its touching sincerity was, to the world's Commu- 
nists and feDow travelers, deeply convincing. 

Most They Confess? I 

MILITARY interrogators, whatever government they 
work for, are of a proud profession which insists that every 
man has his breaking point, so consider the case of Captain 
Theodore Harris, commander of a reconnaissance B-29 sta- 
tioned in Japan in the summer of 1952. On July 2 we had 
bombed a bridge near Sinanju in North Korea. On the night 
of July 3 it was Captain Harris* mission to fly to that target 
unescorted, to drop flares, and to bring home pictures of the 

This he was unable to do because, when he reached the 
target just after midnight, his RB-29 was attacked by five 
MIGS, which started several fires in his plane. So he gave 
orders over the intercom to abandon the craft. All bailed out 
but one man who had been killed by gunfire. 

Harris stayed at his controls until the others had dropped 
clear, getting burns on his face, throat, hands, arms, and 
back. When he then released the controls, the burning 
B-29 began spinning crazily, so that, after he jumped, he 


could not pull his release cord, for his head had struck the 
craft, knocking him unconscious. 

However, he began slowly to come out of it, so that he 
could reach to jerk his parachute release cord when he was 
still 4,000 feet from the ground, which Captain Harris con- 
siders was fortunate. By the light of the magnesium flare 
they had dropped earlier, he could see that he probably 
would land very near the bridge they had not had time to 
photograph. He hit in a nearby rice paddy. 

By dawn his burns had given him a terrible thirst. He 
managed to get a drink. But by daylight he saw the burns 
were so deep that he needed medical attention at once, so 
he went to a village, hunting a doctor. In the village the 
Chinese soldiers paid no attention to his burns, but began 
interrogating him. 

Captain Harris gave them name, rank, and serial number 
and, at this point, would confess to nothing. 

For the next week they kept him on public display during 
the day, and questioned him most of the night. By this time 
his burns were infected and gangrene had set in. The sweet- 
ish stench was so sickening that the interrogators could not 
stay in the room with him. The captain considers this to be 
his second lucky break. He was to get others like it. 

On about July llth, the Chinese Volunteers, who had been 
giving Captain Harris this Lenient Treatment, moved him 
in a truck to an interrogation camp about 30 miles from 
Pyongyang. Since Captain Harris was unconscious most of 
the time, he remembers little of the trip, which would be his 
third lucky break. He was then put in a nearby Korean house 
they were using as a hospital, and for the next three weeks 
they let him alone: he was too far gone to be questioned. 

When his burns healed, he was moved to the interrogation 
camp and quartered in a short trench covered with thatch, 
with a grass door. There was room only to sit down. He was 
in solitary confinement at all times. 


But they took him out, usually at night, for lengthy inter- 
rogations. In the next few months, these went through 
phases. They started off on Bacterial Warfare. As Captain 
Harris would confess to nothing, his living conditions got 

Once his food was so bad that in protest he threw it on 
the ground of the compound court. Nearby was a half- 
starved dog that had been eating human dung. The dog now 
stopped, trotted over to the food, and smelled it hopefully. 
Then it walked wistfully back to resume eating the dung, 
which saddened Captain Harris, who is fond of animals. The 
next day he ate his food, but still would confess to nothing. 

So they now accused him of psychological warfare, then 
of atomic warfare, then of dropping agents in the Manchuria 
and Peiping areas, and finally of bacterial warfare against 
the Communist Huks in the Philippines. Captain Harris still 
would confess to nothing. 

It was now getting cold in his hut, where at night he was 
shackled and handcuffed, so that his hands and feet became 
frostbitten. The only time he got treatment was when they 
feared (because the burns healed slowly) that he might have 
an infectious skin disease, which would endanger his guards. 

In this phase of interrogation they were accusing him of 
violating not only the territory of Korea, but that of neutral 
China and of the still more savagely neutral Soviet Union. 
But Captain Harris would confess to nothing. The truth hap- 
pens to be that he had done none of these things. 

One morning, after telling him that he was guilty of sun- 
dry war crimes, they led him out in front of a firing squad. 
They told him to stand at attention, facing the squad, which 
Captain Harris did. 

The Chinese commander then ordered the 12 men to load, 
which they did. 

He then ordered them to take aim, which they did. 


Then, pausing, the commander pointed out that if Captain 
Harris confessed his crimes, he would be in a position to ask 
for leniency. 

Captain Harris told the commander he had no statement 
to make. But the commander kept on pausing anyway. 
Which Captain Harris can count as his fourth lucky break. 

He was taken back to the interrogation center, where he 
was told that, as an unconfessed war criminal, he would 
have no hope of returning to America. He was also warned 
that his family might be in considerable danger, since Ameri- 
can Communists would have no sympathy for the family of 
such a beast. It was delicately suggested he consider their 
feelings and welfare. 

But Captain Harris would confess to nothing. 

The Captain thinks it was sometime in January 1953 that 
they handcuffed and blindfolded him and tossed him into 
an open truck, which then took off. Going through towns, 
they threw a blanket over his head, in case the blindfold 

After a few days, because there were more traffic noises 
on the road, and because he could now hear trains running 
(which they weren't, in Korea), he guessed they must have 
crossed over the border into China. 

After a few more days, he could tell they were entering 
a big town. It turned out to be Mukden, the capital of 
Chinese Manchuria. Here he was taken out of the truck, led 
into a building and, when the blindfold was taken off, lie 
found himself in a cell, in solitary confinement (always, until 
the very end, in solitary confinement). 

Next day the interrogation seemed to be more formal, in 
the presence of a recording clerk and several Chinese officers. 
He asked them why he had been taken out of North Korea 
into a so-called neutral country, and by what authority the 
Chinese Regular Army was now holding him. 


They replied that he was in no position to ask anyone any- 
thing, but was here only to answer questions, which they now 
began to put. They were the same old questions. Captain 
Harris would not confess to anything. 

They once tried to get him to sign the minutes of an inter- 
rogation, although these were written in Chinese. He ex- 
plained that even were they written in English, he would 
sign nothing, now or ever. 

Part of the treatment seemed to be breaking up all pat- 
terns in order, he thinks, to confuse him. Meals would arrive 
at wild intervals. Interrogators would show up before break- 
fast, or long after midnight. They would senselessly heat his 
freezing room to oven temperature, and then quench the 
fire for no reason he could see. 

Sometime in what he thinks was April, they moved him to 
a wet, mouldy cell in another Mukden prison. For six weeks 
there was routine: each day he was brought before a 
military court. When he asked by whose authority they were 
trying him for these war crimes, there was no answer. When 
he asked if he could have his own lawyer again no response. 
Instead they asked him if he was now ready to confess. He 
replied that he would confess to nothing now or ever. 

(To be continued] 

Our Treatment of Theirs 
Missionary Brut 

FOR two days in early April 1952, the loud-speakers 
rumbled in every United Nations prison compound. 

All prisoners of war [they intoned, in Chinese and Korean] 


will be individually interviewed during the next few days, 
to determine which desire to be repatriated, and which ones 
have compelling reasons that make it impossible to return* 

This was it. All our prisoners from Communist armies 
gathered below the horns to listen. 

For your own safety [warned the loud-speakers] let no per- 
soneven your best friend know what your decision will be, 
prior to the time you are asked for it by the interviewer. 

This surely would save lives, for we had learned that a 
Communist (or anti-Communist) often was not safe in a 
compound controlled by the other faction. 

To those prisoners who are not violently opposed to repatri- 
ation, the United Nations Command will guarantee return 
to your authorities. . . . Your decision in this matter will be 
considered final. 

Instead of making our anti-Communist prisoners promises, 
those loud-speakers grimly reminded them that 

The UN Command can make no guarantees whatever as to 
the ultimate fate of those who refuse to go back to their own 
people. . . . Before any of you decides irrevocably to resist 
repatriation, you must consider the effect of your decision 
on your family. ... If you fail to return, the Communists 
undoubtedly will consider your family suspect. You may 
well never see your family again. 

Here surely was no frenzied bid for anti-Communist re- 
cruits. Because if all or most would consent to go home, then 
the war (of which America was weary) would be over, and 
our own boys back home. So we warned these anti-Commu- 
nists that: 

You may undoubtedly be held in custody here ... for many 
long months. However, the United Nations cannot house and 


feed you forever, can make no promises regarding your 
future, and will not guarantee to send you to any certain 

Then followed the amnesty declaration we had asked the 
Communists to furnish a warm invitation to return to their 
Communist homelands, promising complete forgiveness for 
the sin of having been captured, and it was signed by Mar- 
shal Kim II Sung for the North Koreans, and by General Peng 
Teh-huai for the Chinese People's Volunteers. 

We had, at this point, sound and selfish reasons for want- 
ing to send back as many as we could drag. For in Europe, 
the Voice of the Turtle was heard in the land, along with 
the awesome cawing of Picasso's Dove. If in Seoul and in 
Tokyo our generals were chafing at the bit, abroad they 
were viewed by our jittery allies as irresponsible jingoes, 
and their every hard-won advance a reckless provocation of 
World War III. 

At home it was an election year. The opening of Armistice 
talks had quenched whatever zest there had been to plant 
our standards firmly on the Yalu, amongst the unmarked 
graves of our starved American prisoners. Our people also 
wanted peace with (all hoped) some acceptable semblance 
of Honor. The uncomfortably hard facts were that every 
prisoner who balkedfor reasons however lofty at returning 
to his Communist homeland, was a block to that hoped-for 
peace. In this sober mood the screenings began. 

Our Chinese prisoners were at this time in four compounds 
on Koje. All were willing to be screened. Two ( they were the 
biggest) we thought were anti-Communist. The other two 
we presumed were Communist. But who knew? 

Now at the exact hour that the loud-speakers were boom- 
ing in those Koje compounds Captain (now Major) Harold 


Whallon, who had dimly heard of Koje, was sitting in an 
evening class in Tokyo when someone handed him a signal 
that he was immediately to report to headquarters. 

Harold Whallon had been bora, raised, and educated in 
North China, the son of Presbyterian missionaries there. He 
came back Stateside for college and, drafted in 1943, was 
sent out to the China-Burma-India theater in an intelligence 

He left the army in 1946, to be recalled when Korea 
popped, and shipped to Tokyo to be in G-2*s China section, 
Reporting now to headquarters, they would only tell him 
to get his gear together quickly, and that the operation was 

At the airport he met others, assembling for the same 
operation "and it didn't take us five minutes to discover 
that most of us like me were missionary brats, and all of us 
were fluent Chinese linguists. This gave us our first clue 
as to where we might be headed, 

"They flew us we were about 20 down to Pusan in a 
transport, and there we were picked up individually in light 
observation planes. I was flying along the broken, rough 
Korean coast little islands, then more and more water, and 
finally, ahead, a huge mass rising sharp out of the water, with 
one dominating peak. When I got down on its airstrip I 
found it was Koje. 

"We were free for the afternoon, so some of us climbed 
a tall hill where we could look down on the camps (they 
warned us to keep clear of them ) . They were huge, rectangu- 
lar, barbed-wire compounds, holding up to 5,000 and the 
size of a city block. We could hear the prisoners singing 
not all of it was political the Chinese love to sing. 

"That night we got our briefing: we were to separate 
the Communists from the anti-Communists, working a com- 
pound at a time. 


They sent me first to a large pro-Nationalist compound. 
The prisoners had knocked themselves out making decora- 
tions of toilet paper, bunting, hammered tin cansanything 
they could find." 

As a working tool we had provided our screeners with a 
questionnaire asking each prisoner, first if he would be "vol- 
untarily repatriated/' If not, would he "forcibly resist"? Even 
so, had he carefully considered what might happen to his 
family if he failed to go back? Having pondered this, would 
he still violently resist if we sent him back anyway? 

would fill out the form,'* says Major Whallon, "but 
clearly most knew just what they wanted, stuck with it, and 
the case could be settled in a couple of minutes. Our first 
was a boy on crutches. He was not a Communist, but he 
told us he didn't dare defect because of what the Commu- 
nists might do to his family. He had been beaten up the night 
before, and now wanted protection from his anti-Communist 
buddies. So we got him out quick. 

**We could do this because our desks were set up in an 
open tent about a hundred feet from the entrance gate, so 
that if a man wanted to get away from his buddies he could 
slip out or run out as they usually did. Sometimes there 
was a little fracas between the other prisoners and the MPs 
in getting a Communist out unscathed but none was hurt. 

"We had been sent into the compound unarmed, for fear 
they would beat us up and take our weapons, which they 
wanted to use on the Communists. We found that Ameri- 
cansfantastically out-numbered because we could spare so 
few men from the fighting line seldom entered these big 
compounds, which were run by a prisoner C.O., in a semi- 
military system. On that first day we were shaken when the 


MPs, making a compound inspection, ran onto a corpse and 
carried the man out. 

"In this first camp the Communists were a small minority, 
so they didn't say it very loudly. Most men would ask us 
when they could get back in the GimoV army and start 
fighting Communists. In some cases this was only brave talk, 
and may have reflected a little coaching. But most appeared 
definitely enthusiastic about staying on our side. 

"Of those few who wanted to go back, the convinced 
Communists were sullen, and the others most unhappy. For, 
in telling us why they dared not defect for family reasons, 
some would cry there were a lot of such hysterics in our 
tents and then unhappily make the choice to go out to the 

"All these men we protected and sent out quickly. Some- 
times it was a little heartbreaking to have to punch a good 
Nationalist to protect a Communist but we played it straight 
that way. 

'The prisoners usually came in groups of men who were 
friendly with each other, but this didn't keep the screening 
from being fair, since, while we were talking to one, the 
others would be out of earshot a good fifty feet away. 

'The longest interviews were with those who still hadn't 
got the idea that they had a completely free choice. In spite 
of the job the Psywar boys had done over the camp loud- 
speakers, they couldn't believe it. The concept of a truly 
free choice with no pressure is very difficult to explain to a 
Chinese. We had to keep repeating it. Also we got a clear 
impression that many of these boys had never in their lives 
made a decision of this type, and did not know how to do 
it now. 

The great majority explained that when the Communists 
took over in China, they had followed their leaders in 
* Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's. W. L. W. 


going over to the Red side without quite knowing what was 
happening. When they found out the score, they had taken 
the first chance to leave the Communists and get back on 
the team they wanted. They had only come back to their 
own side, and had not they insisted been captured. 

"Some who wanted to return to their families were fearful 
of the treatment they might get for having been taken pris- 
oner. There was not too much we could say to reassure 
these. We could only promise to keep them safe from the 
anti-Communists until they were returned, if that was what 
they wanted. 

"But when I got back to Tokyo and briefed the staff on the 
operation, their biggest surprise was our report that most of 
these men did not consider themselves prisoners of war, or 
even defectors from Communism, but felt they were politi- 
cal refugees. This at first they could hardly grasp in Tokyo. 

"It had been a rush job and hard work under rough condi- 
tions. We may have missed a few. But we left Koje with a 
feeling that we had done an honorable job well." 

What now of the score? In Captain Whallon's first huge 
compound, 6,900 (or 85%) chose die free world. In the sec- 
ond compound, not 10J voted for repatriation. The third 
held what we had thought were 253 militant Communists, 
and so it turned out: every man said he wanted to go home. 
The fourth, holding 1,500 men, we had thought was also 
Communist But something had happened, for in the indi- 
vidual interviews 15% told us they wanted no part of repatri- 

The news was almost frightening. For of our total Chinese 
prisoners in spite of our broadcast warnings and the coaxing 
in that Communist amnesty statement only one prisoner 
in five would accept repatriation! How would we break this 
news to the Communists at Panmunjom? How long might 


this keep us tied up in a war of which the American people 
were now thoroughly tired? 

We turned now to Koje's Korean compounds, where those 
under Communist control had refused to let our screening 
teams enter. Colonel William R. Robinette, former Koje com- 
mander, points out that they had contrived a huge arsenal 
of homemade weapons which, after control was broken, we 
assembled into a museum. 

"In each GI shoe/* says the Colonel, "there is an eight-inch 
sliver of steel. These had been sharpened into knives. Twenty 
lengths of barbed wire made a club, wired together and with 
a cloth handle. One of Koje's many stones, put in a sock, 
made a deadly blackjack. They made pikes out of army 
tent poles, sharpening the pin at the end. They even 
made mock weapons out of wood replicas of machine guns, 
automatic rifles, and M-ls, painted black with soot from the 
camp incinerator, their bayonets covered with tinfoil from 
American chewing gum or cigarette wrappers." 

Communist control was ruthless. They held their trials 
at night when lights were out and, if a man were found 
guilty of anti-Communism, "we would find him hanging 
in the latrine by a communications wire. In other cases, 
prisoners would be spread-eagled on the floor and stomped 
to death with GI boots the crushed rib fragments going into 
the lungs to cause death by internal bleeding.'* 

In still another Communist compound, reports the Col- 
onel, "we found five dead, but with no marks on the body, 
no water in the lungs. Then we found a small piece of cotton 
still remaining in the throat of one corpse, and knew all 
had been strangled. 

"In yet another Communist compound we found 14 who 
had been sick for some time, but not reported to the dis- 
pensary. This was not a punishment: Communist vengeance 
is quick and ruthless. These 14 were simply to them other- 


wise useless human beings, whose death would reflect dis- 
credit on the Americans. 

"Similarly, they were constantly harassing the Interna- 
tional Red Cross with phoney reports against us. In interro- 
gating them, they charged we drove slivers under their 
fingernails and that we used the 'water system.' " 

One imaginative genius insisted we had screwed his penis 
into an electric-light socket and, when he still refused to talk, 
had turned on the current, lighting him up like a 100-watt 

"In the early days," says Colonel Robinette, "the Red Cross 
doubted our reports. Presently they found we could be be- 
lieved when we denied such nonsense/* 

To break Communist control in such compounds would 
(as it later proved) cost many lives. We shrank then from 
the decision, for at Panmunjom the Armistice hung in the 
balance. However, the Korean Anti-Communist Youth Com- 
pound on Koje would allow a screening, in which 823? refused 
to return to North Korea. 

We now had to return to Panmunjom with the disturbing 
estimate that only 70,000 (roughly 50%) of the prisoners of 
war we held would not require forced repatriation. 

Although President Truman was widely applauded for his 
declaration that forced repatriation was "repugnant to the 
free world," our stand was not universally popular. Many 
American prisoners and their families did not see why our 
boys should be asked to spend more weary months in prison 
camp, to give these men who had fought against them in 
Communist armies the unwonted luxury of a political choice. 

At Panmunjom the Communists were furious. Whatever 
they believed, they could not publicly admit to so huge a 
defection. It was unthinkable, they shouted, that their cap- 
tured personnel should not be returned. 

Then what, retorted the UN, about the 50,000-plus South 


Koreans captured by them, but unaccounted for? If they 
were truly "volunteers'* for the Communist armies, then why 
should not the men we had captured have the same liberty 
of choice? 

For the moment, in the negotiation tent, they dropped all 
theoretics. The flat Communist answer was we would get 
no peace unless we withdrew our demand for voluntary 
repatriation and herded back to them 110,000 prisoners, in 
exchange for the 12,000 they now conceded they held. 

We were finding that secret trails led from the Com- 
munist negotiating side of that tent, on down through South 
Korea and into our prison camps. 

Although the front had been static for more than a year, 
there was a steady trickle of surrendering North Koreans 
and Chinese. Since, to keep peace in the compounds, we had 
been segregating, we would, in the collecting centers, ask 
each newly surrendered prisoner his politics, and then route 
him south according to this political faith. We were presently 
to find that, as early as the fall of 1951, the leaders at Pan- 
munjom had turned this surrender trail into an underground 
railway for trained Communist agents. 

They would first get two months' special training. A Com- 
munist major would then be given a tattered private's uni- 
form and, after careful rehearsal in a touching story of how 
Communists had murdered his imaginary family, would be 
taken to the front, given one of our surrender leaflets, and 
told to walk toward our lines with his hands up. 

Arriving in one of our anti-Communist prison compounds, 
the disguised Communist majorstill professing anti-Com- 
munism would contact other underground Communists, 
strive to elect one of their group as compound spokesman or, 
failing this, to spread hurtful rumors. Some brought fresh 
orders from Nam II delivered with only a brief delay. 

Women agents would pose as refugees from Communist 


famine, with orders to get civilian jobs close to our prison 
compounds and help smuggle out messages from Commu- 
nists within. 

When the Chinese prison compounds consented to screen- 
ing, many agents were rushed down to stiffen resistance and 
to tell anti-Communist Chinese that now Red China was 
booming, that there were wondrous improvements in food 
and housing, that mighty Russia was sending a flood of ma- 
chines and weapons, and that within two years the Red flag 
would be flying over Formosa. Why go to that death-trap? 

No work could be more dangerous. The chances were 
good that, if they were detected, they might be killed with- 
out mercy by the anti-Communist prisoners they were 
swindling. But rewards were equally high. Volunteers would, 
after the war, get medals and promotions beyond counting. 
If they were caught and killed, then their families for 40 
years were to fatten on pensions. 

All this we were soon to learn firsthand from the lips of 
the man who, in our camps, directed these agents a Soviet 
officer of Korean ancestry who later came over to our side 
long enough to tell us his story. 

Pafc Sang Hyong was born in Korea in March 1914, but 
in May of 1926 moved with his family to the Soviet Union, 
where he attended primary and middle school, joined the 
Young Communist League, went on to college at Khaba- 
rovsk, and, after graduating in 1937, was assigned to super- 
vise a collective farm. 

In 1940, the Communist Party admitted him to full mem- 
bership. Pak Sang Hyong was rising rapidly and had been 
working near Tashkent when, as the war with Japan ended 
and the Russian forces moved into North Korea, he was 
transferred into the Red Army as an officer-interpreter, 
arriving in Pyongyang in September 1945, assigned to the 


25th Ked Army Corps with the rank of senior lieutenant. 
For three years he worked closely with Colonel Kutratdhov, 
commanding officer of the Soviet Army Headquarters in 

With the official withdrawal of the Soviet Army from 
North Korea came a change in his duties. He was ordered 
to take out North Korean citizenship, to transfer from the 
Russian to the Korean Communist Party, and so doffed his 
uniform to serve as vice-chairman of the North Korean Labor 
Party. Since no other party could legally exist, these duties 
were light and his standing as a trusted political agitator 
was high. 

So when he was captured and presently sent to Koje~do, 
as ranking political worker this Soviet officer (now a Korean 
private) took over the camp. It was he who perfected and 
commanded the Communist organization in each compound, 
including even #66, which housed North Korean officers. It 
was to him that newly arrived agents (bearing fresh instruc- 
tions) first reported, although he also got coded orders from 
Radio Pyongyang. 

"Are you trying," he kter asked us, "to prove that the 
USSR is running the Korean War? That is not necessary; I 
am living proof of that fact." 

In April of '52 Korean Private Pak Sang Hyong got new 
and urgent orders from the Communist side of the truce tent 
at Panmunjom. Not only were they to resist to the death all 
screening and segregation in compounds they controlled, 
but they were to capture a high-ranking American officer 
and, bargaining with his life, to exact from the Americans 
a promise that all screening would cease. 

Korean Private Pak Sang Hyong^s organization had al- 
ready planned and executed several minor prison riots. Dis- 
cipline was perfect; backsliders were punished without 


"I had," lie later boasted to us, "a division under my 
command. We could easily have taken Koje, but how could 
we have left the island?" So he had shelved the idea. But 
now, with these instructions from Panmunjom, new orders 
went out to the POW compound colonels, captains, and 
section sergeants. 

On the 7th of May, 1952, word came to Brigadier General 
Francis T. Dodd, United Nations Commander of Koje 
Island prison camp (and therefore the American opposite 
number of Korean Private Pak Sang Hyong), that a group 
of spokesmen representing prisoners in Compound #10 
(Korean POWs) had arrived at their compound gate asking 
to talk with him. 

At this early point in that eventful day, several alternatives 
were still open to this officer. The one later to be favored 
with all the white-hot passion of retrospective wisdom by 
Frank Pace, Jr., then Secretary of the Army, was that the 
general should have stayed exactly where he was until, with 
proper pomp and circumstance, the spokesmen could be 
"brought to his office under guard.'* 

Instead Brigadier General Dodd picked up his cap, with 
its all too transient single star and, leaving his office, jeeped 
briskly over to that compound gate to find out what those 
spokesmen wanted. In that way, it then seemed, he would 
save time. 

The "snatch," ordered weeks before from Panmunjom 
and carefully rehearsed by Private Pak Sang Hyong, now 
went smoothly according to plan. The prisoners, clustering 
around General Dodd, at a given signal formed a flying 
wedge behind him and deftly whisked this unfortunate 
officer through the gate and deep into the maw of teeming 
Compound #10. 

There now followed three days of American nail-biting, 


with telephones humming between Washington, Japan, and 
Koje Island, while considerable portions of the world 

A single field telephone line leading to the central tent 
of rebellious Compound #10 linked the rebels with the out- 
side world. Over this they parleyed and dickered with Briga- 
dier General Charles F. Colson, newly anointed commander 
of Koje. Very occasionally they would let him hear the voice 
of their captive General Dodd, his predecessor. 

What the prisoners wanted of both ( and got in part) were 
public "confessions" of various political shortcomings, and 
written pledges to recognize the existing Communist organi- 
zations and to "stop torturing and mistreating prisoners to 
say they are anti-Communist." We had, of course, done noth- 
ing of the kind, but in the Panmunjom tent the Communist 
side found this statement useful. 

We could at this point, with troops and tanks, easily have 
crushed the revolt, but at a cost of several hundred lives, 
including very probably that of Dodd. 

So, bargaining with die Communist leaders over that field 
telephone, we got, in the end, repossession of our ruffled 
general, who was released on May 10th, plus some softening 
of the text. Enough of the Communist phrasing remained, 
however, to cause both generals to be deflowered of their 
stars and degraded to the comparative squalor of mere 

Now, at long last, we cracked down on Koje. In Tokyo, 
Mark Clark repudiated the extorted agreement to stop all 
screening, with its confession of our sins as false as those 
wrung from our fliers. 

Presently the 187th Airborne Infantry and a tank battalion 
arrived on Koje from the fighting line. We now took the 
long-neglected advice of the IRC delegates to build new 


enclosures, each subdivided into eight separate 500-man 
compounds, which would split the prisoners into groups of 
manageable size. 

And on June 10th Brigadier General Haydon Boatner, 
leading a thousand paratroopers, smashed Communist re- 
sistance on Koje at a cost, in lives, of one paratrooper and 
38 Communist prisoners. 

If this seems high, compare it with the 115 prisoner-lives 
which the Communist leaders had taken since September of 
'51 in order to win control of Koje, 

During Col, Robinette's Koje duty, he had tinder him two 
Majors who had witnessed these critical days, and who 
agreed that '"had General Dodd and Colson got the support 
later given General Boatner, the riots never would have 
occurred. Prisoners were pouring onto Koje-do by the thou- 
sand, until the camps overflowed and control was lost. We 
couldn't get a spool of barbed wire or a sheet of tin until 
the riots. But after that, when General Boatner took over, 
he could have requisitioned and gotten the moon." 

Once the big, unmanageable compounds were broken up, 
we could now proceed with an exact screening, from which 
it developed that the score against repatriation was about 
four out of five with our Chinese prisoners, and three out 
of five with the Koreans. 

It was after this crushing of resistance that Pak Sang 
Hyong came over to us, asking for a Russian-speaking inter- 
preter because he was, he proudly said, a Soviet citizen of 
Korean ancestry and an officer in the Soviet army. Since his 
revolt had failed, he wanted to reject repatriation, for back 
in North Korea he would be shown no mercy. He now told 
us the whole story of his thorough organization, its direction 
through him from Panmunjom, and its careful plan. 

But, almost a year kter, he came to us again. He now 
asked if there was a procedure under which he could un- 


defect. Because, he said, he wanted to see his family once 
more, before he began serving that inevitable sentence in 
a Communist concentration camp as punishment for his 

Of course we let him go back. 


You cannot, however, malce an omelette without 
breaking eggs, and in the early summer of "52 we got strong 
protests from the International Red Cross. Beginning on 
May 7th ( and coinciding with the piteous transmogrification 
of General Dodd), we had barred them from Koje and other 
rioting compounds where we could not guarantee their 
safety, a ban which continued until early July. 

In mid-May, Delegate Lehner, head of the IRC mission, 
made a visit to Tokyo to take up with Commanding General 
Mark Clark not only this ban, but other matters. For when 
prisoners in Enclosure #10 had refused to leave for their 
new and smaller pens, we had cut off food and water to 
make them move. In a stern letter to Mark Clark, Delegate 
Lehner insisted this was an infringement of Article 26 of the 
Geneva Convention, which states that "collective disciplinary 
measures affecting food are prohibited." 

He further pointed out that we had also used concussion 
grenades to get them out, which "caused at least one death 
and several wounded,** and had the honor to request General 
Clark "to refrain in the future from coercive measures of the 
above-mentioned land.'* 

Why this rebuke? Perhaps we deserved it. Or perhaps the 


International Red Cross, goaded by Communist attacks on 
them for lack of neutrality, felt that severe censure of U.N. 
conduct might be helpful at this time. 

General Mark Clark's answering explosion was delayed 
until Boatner had cleaned up Koje. Then, in a blistering 
letter to Dr. Lehner, he reminded him that, "as you are fully 
aware/' this compound "controlled by fanatical Communist 
leaders" had excluded everyone, barring even "peaceable 
entry of our medical personnel" needed to tend the sick. 

He reminded the IRC that "your delegates . . . witnessed 
the prisoners' flagrant disregard of lawful orders" and them- 
selves "attempted for several days to secure the cooperation 
of the prisoners but were unsuccessful," after which "these 
same delegates, as well as yourself, agreed that uncontested 
control had to be established, but could offer no satisfactory 
method by which this could be accomplished." 

Was our method too harsh? "Food and water were made 
available in the new compound, and the rebellious prisoners 
informed that rations would no longer be delivered to the 
three compounds they occupied.*' So "at no time were the 
prisoners denied them." 

As for the rough treatment, "carefully trained United 
States troops, fully oriented on the necessity of keeping 
violence to an absolute minimum" had moved against the 
"aggressive prisoners armed with a variety of lethal weapons 
which they had fashioned/ 7 and our troops had used only 
tear gas and a concussion grenade of the shock type, which 
"is not considered a combat missile." 

Watching this American advance, "I.R.C. delegates on the 
scene had commented very favorably on the skill and self- 
control exercised by our troops, despite the danger to which 
they were subjected by the rioting prisoners." 

Then General Clark, "while fully recognizing your right to 
state your views," insisted that "your report should include a 


r6sum of the circumstances that led to the action at Pusan 
circumstances which are fully known to you" and asked that 
"this communication be forwarded to your headquarters with 
whatever official reports you may make.** 

The dispute was settled by David de Traz, Executive 
Director of the International Red Cross, who flew from 
Geneva to Tokyo for this purpose, and by July 2, when peace 
( and Boatner's paratroopers ) reigned in our compounds, the 
IRC delegates were re-admitted. 

The Ranger 

ON February 6, 1952, a date The Ranger will never 
forget, he was pulled out of Camp II for interrogation. The 
Chinese wanted him to write a "cognition" on the subject 
of parachuting Korean agents behind Communist lines. How 
they could have hit on this particular subject > The Ranger 
would not know. He thinks they were not as sure of it as 
they pretended to be. 

But the interrogation was conducted by Ding himself the 
Chinese commander. 

The Ranger explained to Ding that he would not talk, that 
he stood on his rights under the Geneva Convention and 
started quoting "those parts about prisoner-of-war rights 
that had been taught me when I jumped into France in 
World War II." 

Ding said if he would not talk, he must write, and, hand- 
ing him a big wad of paper, said that "if I was so smart about 
the Geneva Conventions, I could write its complete text into 
my cognition." 


When he refused to write, they threw him in the "Hole/* 
which was solitary confinement in an open stable. At night 
it would drop to 35 below zero. For the rest of January he 
got rice or kaoliang every third day, and almost no water. 

"They said that I was not entitled to their Lenient Policy, 
since I was a foreign espionage agent. And, since I would 
neither talk nor write, I had dropped even lower in status 
from a prisoner of war to a war criminal. Even so, they 
weren't going to kill me at the present time. Probably, they 
said, I would die a 'natural' death of starvation or pneu- 
monia. They were keeping me alive for the moment, they 
explained, only out of the kindness of their hearts, and be- 
cause maybe I would see the light and give them informa- 

The Ranger asked how he had become a war criminal. 

"You have attacked an Army of Liberation," said Ding. 
"All Communist forces are Armies of Liberation. If we attack 
America, it will be to liberate the workers and peasants. 
And should you take up arms against this liberation, auto- 
matically you would then be a war criminal again." 

**When they first threw me in the Hole," said The Ranger, 
"I thought I'd had it, Everybody in Camp II feared going 
there in winter, and this worked on my mind. So the first 
night, I said a prayer. 'Lord/ it went, 1 was never one to 
kneel down and pray. So any punishment I go through now, 
I offer up as a prayer to you/ " 

But a week later he had to confess that "Lord, I can't even 
pray to you in that way. Because even though it's cold, I'm 
too numb to feel it. And even though they've quit feeding 
me, I'm no hungrier than I was, back in camp!" 

Another thing was working. "When they threaten you with 
a 'natural death/ n explains The Ranger, "somehow you 
rebel." He decided that, no matter what they did to him, 
when his time was up he was going to walk out of there 


with his chin up, just to show them how wrong they were! 

He finally solved the problem of keeping warm at night. 
He would take off his padded pants and jacket, tie one pants- 
leg tight at the bottom with shoelaces, put both feet into it, 
and then, using his other pants-leg and his jacket as a mat- 
tress would roll up in his blanket. In the morning, the out- 
side of the blanket would be covered like an igloo with thick 
frost from his body moisture but he would keep fairly warm. 

On extra-cold nights either Chen or Wong, two of the 
assistant interrogators, would drop in, lack his legs, and say, 
"Are you ready to talk?" So one night he said yes, he guessed 
he was: he hadn't talked to anyone for a long time. 

Chen got him up, led him to a room with a door on it, 
built a fire, and that night he was wonderfully warm. The 
next morning after a breakfast of rice and soup, Sun, chief 
of the interrogators, arrived with pen and paper and said 
now he could start writing. 

"But I didn't come here to write, I came here to talk.** 

So Sun sat down and they started. But when Sun began 
with military questions about how agents were dropped be- 
hind the Communist lines in North Korea, The Ranger said 
he was so sorry, he'd never heard of it. 

"But you said you were ready to talkr 

"Sure, sure, that's it, so I am. Sit down, let's chew the fat a 
while. I haven't talked to anyone for two weeks." 

Then Sun blew his top, and kicked The Ranger, and threw 
him back in the Hole. "I worked this about four times that 
winter. The heat and food I got helped quite a bit. 7 * 

From The Ranger's experience: "You can say in general 
that they don't break the skin. They would whack me around 
with the butt end of a tommy gun, kick me a little, some- 
times poke with a bayonet, but no permanent damage. If 
you act like a man, they pretty well let you alone. But if you 


holler, or scream, or if they draw blood, this seems to excite 
them like animals/' 

The last time they came in and kicked him at night, to see 
if he would talk, was along in March, when already it was 
wanning up, and Sun's question still was, "How does a 
Foreign Espionage Agent operate?'' 

Now The Ranger happened to remember a Saturday Eve- 
ning Post story about a German agent who, long before 
World War II, learned the watch-repair business in Switzer- 
land in order to open a shop in Scapa Flow. He had to live 
there for two decades, but finally was able to guide in the 
submarines which sank the Repulse and the Renown. 

"Two days and 15 pages later I finished the story. Sun 
read it, beaming. He asked why I hadn't done this long 
before. He was all smiles. Now I got tobacco and much 
better food." At this point, The Ranger, who weighed 189 
pounds when captured, weighed 110 pounds. 

"But three days later Sun came in and started raising hell 
with me. It seemed somebody in Peiping had read the 
Saturday Evening Post. Sun now said they were going to 
give me exactly five days to write my story. If I wasn't 
through by then, they were going to shoot me. He left me 
with a stack of paper. 

"For five days I sat there. I knew if I used their paper for 
cigarettes, they could shoot me for stealing from the Chinese 
People, which is a crime. So when the five days were up, I 
not only gave Sun back his pen, but counted out the blank 
sheets for him. 

"He explained that the only reason I was still alive was 
because he had been able to talk them out of killing me. 
'But from now on, what will happen is your fault. I wash my 
hands of you!' 

"I was then ordered to 'take all and come with' to roll up 
my blanket and follow him, for he was going to give me 


back to the Koreans, who would kill me. He marched me 
over to the Korean jail and threw me in a cell. 

"But he hadn't coordinated with the Koreans. Because 
after a while a Korean officer came wandering by, saw me, 
stopped, looked at me questioningly. I shook my head and 
fanned out my hands to tell him 7 didn't know what it was 
all about, either. 

"So then he called Sun. The two of them argued. Then the 
Korean officer unlocked the cell and motioned me out, with 
the idea that I was trespassing on Korean property. 

"So then I said, 'Well, so long as neither of you want me, 
I'm going home/ and was just taking off when the Chinese 
grabbed me and threw me back in their Hole. 

'Tor the next two weeks, although I didn't get all the 
extra rations the others did, I lived well. So one day when 
Sun was walking by, I hollered at him, Hey, you ugly so- 
and-so, you should have washed your hands of me four 
months ago!* ** 

On April 26th they moved him to a new camp in another 
valley, where he had as cellmate a British naval officer, a 
swell guy, who had been put ashore to take photographs 
on one of those islands in the Yalu delta, at 4 o'clock of an 
afternoon. The timing could have been better. Because the 
Chinese had picked 6 o'clock of the same afternoon to invade, 
and bagged him. 

The Ranger now learned the Chinese were not letting him 
return to the main camp because they thought he was prob- 
ably crazy. Since he and the Britisher were now eating well, 
he did nothing to discourage this diagnosis. Furthermore, 
if he were not crazy, returned to Camp II he would tell them 
he had not broken under Chinese questioning, which might 
encourage others to hold out. 

The Chinese liked it better this way and so did The 
Ranger, because he now had new guards fresh from China 


and he found that under the Communist system, which is 
built on suspicion, you can learn to operate. 

He still had a drugstore fountain pen which the first 
Chinese who frisked him after capture had returned as not 
worth stealing. He would trade it to a guard for a pound of 
tobacco. When this was smoked, he would ask for more. 
When the guard refused, he would call for the captain and 
complain to this hancho that the guard had stolen his pen. 

Since Communists are more suspicious of each other than 
they are of outsiders, his pen would be returned, the guard 
would be thrown in jail, and he would then trade the foun- 
tain pen to the new guard. During the month they were 
there the British photographer and The Ranger got tinned 
beef, sugar, and all the tobacco they could smoke, and had 
the pleasure of getting four guards thrown in the Hole. He 
still has the pen. 

In late May he was moved to another compound east of 
Camp II, where he was questioned by a fresh political 
hancho who, when The Ranger refused to discuss military 
matters, asked why he had come to Asia. 

"I said we had come over here to lack the Communists 
back over the 38th parallel after they invaded South Korea. 

"He said I was both wrong and politically ignorant, and 
gave me the line about this being a civil war in which 
America was the intrusive aggressor. 

"When I argued, he said he hadn't come here to listen to 
my propaganda. I told him I certainly hadn't come to Korea 
for the pleasure of listening to his. For this he threw me back 
in the jail, which was getting nicer all the time." 

In the fall they moved them to another compound not far 
from Camp II, where the two were now with three other 
Americans, the ranking officer being from the Air Force. As 
a jail it was "ideal.* "The food was good, and we dug a little 
pool in the creek where we bathed three times a day. I was 


thinking I'd never lived better, under these circumstances, 
when two strange Chinese arrived in a jeep, and I was puHedi 
out for another questioning. 

*lt was the old military stuff, so I said I'd already been 
over that, and they should go back and ask Ding. They said 
they would give me two hours to think it over and went 
away, leaving their packs. These I rifled, borrowing their 
pencils, tobacco, and other things I hoped they wouldn't 
need but which, if they sent me to solitary, would come in 

"I got no supper and they came back about 9 o'clock, tak- 
ing me to a new interpreter who was more fluent, and who 
now put the facts on the line; I was either going to talk, or 
else they were through playing with me. 

"So I told this interpreter that ever since I had been cap- 
tured, I had been impressed with the high intelligence of 
the Chinese. I said these two knew that I hadn't talked aH 
winter, when they had been torturing me with cold and no 
food. So how could they be so stupid as to think I would 
start talking now it had wanned up? And was he sure they 
were genuine Chinese? 

"They took me right back to jail, as I had expected. But, 
instead of telling me to "take all and come with," they just 
left me there and never bothered me with questions again 
while I was in Korea." 

Red Justice 

IN that early spring of 1952 The Artilleryman also 
was having his troubles with Sun and Ding. In camp "we 
used to sit, cold and miserable, watching Pyoktong Pass," 


he says, "hoping we would see American tanks lumbering 
through, listening for artillery fire. 

"When they would bomb, if we had not heard the plane 
motors we would become greatly excited, thinking the ex- 
plosions were nearby guns. The bombs came often, for the 
Chinese did not begin marking our camps as POW until late 
in the spring. 

"So many were still dying because they seemed to have 
lost hope, that sometimes we deliberately spread optimistic 
rumors. We did not really give up hope of rescue until that 

The Artilleryman's political troubles began with the Han- 
ley Report that early accusation of mistreatment of our 
prisoners by the Communists which had greatly disturbed 
the Chinese. To refute it, they ordered each prisoner to 
answer a questionnaire as to his treatment. 

The Artilleryman and five others who had decided they 
would tell the truth were thrown into solitary confinement. 
The Artilleryman was told he had "slandered the Chinese 
People's Volunteers" and could be treated as an enemy. He 
would, however, get a final chance if he would confess his 
activities as an anti-Communist agitator and also promise to 
inform to them on all escape plans in the camp. 

When he refused this chance, he was told he must at least 
write a "cognition." It was so cold that often the ink froze, 
and it took him six weeks to compose a document which 
would square both with his conscience and with what the 
Chinese might accept. 

He first proudly confessed his "extreme hostility to Com- 
munism," due to the fact that he was "an adherent of the 
Roman Catholic faith." 

He then confessed that he had "wanted and planned to 

He then said he was sorry for having slandered the Chinese 


People's Volunteers, but "had meant only to report factually 
their treatment of me," explaining that "in this phase" he 
had been confused and had not realized that actions of 

individual Communists did not necessarily conform to the 


Lenient Policy. After considerable head-shaking they ac- 
cepted it, and, when he had read it to the assembled officer- 
prisoners, he was allowed to return to their compound. 

His troubles now began with Sun, the chief political indoc- 
trinator of that compound. Sun, says The Artilleryman, was 
"a boy of about 26 who had been raised in a Christian mission 
school and was almost finished with high school when their 
so-called Revolution began." The Communists had put Sun 
in a school for party workers, which reversed all he had 
learned from the missionaries. Since some of his experiences 
at the mission school had not been too pleasant, he was ripe 
for that race hatred which is Communism's principal export 
item to its colonial empire in Asia. 

Yet he could still quote the Scriptures well, and one day 
when he put a mocking Scriptural distortion into a propa- 
ganda lecture, the men asked him, not quite in fun, if he 
did not fear some day he would rot in Hell for it. 

The Doctor remembers that "we enjoyed needling Sun to 
get him mad, 77 and this was one of the times. 

'There is no God" Sun screamed, in the adolescent 
squeak which always came into his voice when his goat had 
been had, "and I can prove it!" 

At this point The Artilleryman rose. "I can prove there is," 
he said firmly, "and you can't prove there isn't!** 

Now every day Sun came for two hours to his room, while 
The Artilleryman, who had once considered the priesthood, 
struggled for a Chinese soul. Sun's faith, it developed, had 
collapsed over Darwin, but The Artilleryman refused to give 
battle on this paltry field. 

"Where did the Earth come from?" he demanded. 


From diffuse atoms of hydrogen gas which, drawing to- 
gether, began rotation as a nebula mass in motion. And 
after that, all was Cause and Effect. 

"But where," demanded The Artilleryman, "did the Mass 
come from, and how did the Motion start? And how could 
there have been any effect without a primal cause?" 

Hour by hour, as days stretched into weeks, he pinned 
Sun down. According to Communist theory, Man was the 
most progressive of creatures, and Communists the most 
progressive of men. 

But, argued The Artilleryman, "if it is all Cause and Effect, 
then not even Communists could create anything." 

Perhaps not, Sun conceded, but they could organize what 
had already been created. 

Then must there not be, behind all, some Primal Cause 
which had created even them? "I didn't try then to force him 
to accept this Supreme Creator in any form," says The Artil- 
leryman, "but presently he conceded the logic of there being 
a Deity, but would not yet admit it was more than a theory." 

At this point The Doctor remembers that The Artillery- 
man, joining the others after one of these sessions, would 

whisper jubilantly, "I'm converting the I" But Sun, 

The Doctor points out, was treacherous. 

In their final sessions, The Artilleryman had just got Sun 
(who had an excellent academic background) around to the 
point where Sun was defending the historicity of the Gospels, 
when one day Sun told him they must not talk any more. 

"Are you afraid I will convert you?" 

That, said Sun, primly, was not it He knew the truths of 
Dialectical Materialism and could not be swayed. But they 
must not talk about God any more, although he conceded 
that His existence was a logical theory which could be 

"And three days later," says The Artilleryman, "Sun wrote 


and turned in to Ding a self-criticism stating that I had 
attempted to implant bourgeois ideas of God in his mind, 
criticized himself severely for having listened, and promised 
that never again would he sway from the path.* 

"And when I went to jail/* says The Artilleryman* **one 
of the charges against me was that I had attempted to 
tamper with his Marxist innocence!** 

There were, however, more charges. The People's Court 
which convicted The Artilleryman and several other political 
offenders was held in the large assembly hall of a school- 
house. Presiding was Camp Commander Ding tall, suave, 
impassive. Flanking him were four high Chinese officers who 
acted as assistant judges or recorders. 

Each of these dignitaries had his hand on the holster of 
the machine pistol stuck in his belt Although many spoke 
English, each, as a matter of face, had his private interpreter. 
There was, however, no defense attorney. 

Behind Ding were huge pictures of Kirn II Sung and Mao 
Tse-tung, with Stalin in the center. Around the walls other 
photographic icons represented Engels, Marx, Willi Pieck, 
and William Z. Foster. Chinese newsreel men had their 
cameras poised. 

The captive audience was the Chinese-appointed leaders 
of each American prison squad. Outside, two Skoda-gun 
teams were lined up at attention "just for show,** says The 
Artilleryman; "there was no reason for it* 

The charges, to most of which he "confessed," were that 
he had a hostile attitude, that he had organized a group to 
disrupt the propaganda study program, that he had taken 
down pictures of Communist leaders and of Picasso's Peace 
Dove in the camp library, that he had lied in his written 
autobiography, that he had attempted to sully the Marxist 
purity of Sun, that he was a warmonger, that he had given 
untruthful answers to the Hanley Report questionnaire, and, 


finally, that he had stolen the prison-camp assembly bell, 
which had been missing for some weeks. 

This last he denied. They then produced a confession. 
One of the group on trial with The Artilleryman included a 
young lieutenant, hardly more than a kid, who had com- 
posed for the Chinese a document saying that The Artillery- 
man had stolen the bell. He handed it back. 

"I don't believe an officer of the United States Army would 
have written such a thing." 

"But it is his confession." 

"That can't be true. This is forged." 

"He will tell you to your face." 

"Bring him in." 

Facing him but not looking at him, The Kid said, "You 
stole the bell." 

"And you're a damned liar!" The Artilleryman is slight, 
with blue Irish eyes which, when he is angered, burn like 
molten steel. 

At which point, in the presence of Judge-Commander 
Ding, The Kid broke down. It had been a lie, and he could 
not say who actually stole the bell. 

"Go back to jail and consider your lies," Ding told The 
Kid. Although they now slapped and kicked The Artillery- 
man, he felt sure he had won. 

But the next day The Kid finished a new confession, 
charging him again with the bell-stealing and, as for his 
switch of the previous day, explained he had feared, when 
they got back to America, that The Artilleryman would have 
him court-martialed. 

When The Artilleryman came up for sentencing, Judge- 
Commander Ding said, 

'Ten months." 

The Kid was next. The Artilleryman expected he would 
get a few weeks. Instead, 


"Ten months." And they were sentenced to serve this time 
in the same cell. Leaving the schoolhouse, The Kid said, 
"Look, I'm awfully sorry. I don't know what I can say,~ 
'There's not a God-damned thing you can say." 
For the next four months of those ten, The Artilleryman 
says, "we slept next to each other and didn't exchange a 
word, except for those absolutely necessary for existence.** 


IN early May of '52, after we had announced the 
first returns of our screening, they were violently attacked 
by the Communist side in the tent at Panmunjom. 

Did they doubt our honesty? Hoping to convince them, we 
asked their help. Let them sit with us at these screening 
tables. Let them hear from the mouths of their own people 
the reasons why they did not want to come back. 

We pointed out that they could greatly help us. For many 
of the Communist-organized compounds would allow no 
screening. It was such a compound that even now was hold- 
ing our General Dodd. 

This drove them, on May 8th, into a frenzy. It was not 
just our screening, it was any screening. For the Geneva 
Conventions, they insisted, plainly said all prisoners must be 

Then what, we politely asked to know, about those 50,000 
South Koreans who had vanished from their POW lists? Had 
their names been reported to the central prisoner-of-war 
information body in Geneva, as the Convention required? 
Had these men been drafted into their armies, which the 


Convention forbade? Why had they not opened their POW 
camps to neutral inspection, as provided for in these Con- 
ventions which they now solemnly cited? 

As they continued to howl against any and all screenings, 
Senior UN Delegate Lieutenant General William K. Har- 
rison, Jr. (he had replaced Vice- Admiral C. Turner Joy), 
rose in the Panmunjom tent to read from that harmonious 
April 2 record. On that date it had been Colonel Tsi of the 
Chinese People's Volunteers who, speaking for the Commu- 
nist side, asked that we screen their prisoners, while the 
Armistice delegates took a recess. 

Reading also from World War Ifs record, we cited a 
Soviet proclamation of January 8, 1943, addressed to the 
German armies beleaguered in Stalingrad. It promised that 
all who surrendered might "at the end of the war return to 
Germany, or the country of your choice/* 

Now if, in the great progressive heart of Comrade Stalin, 
there had been room to allow even a Fascist German to 
choose his future homeland, why should they now deny this 
same right to those of their own flesh and blood? 

"The truth is," said General Harrison, "we desire to return 
the maximum to your side who evidence the slightest willing- 
ness , . .** 

In that eventful summer, one item passed almost un- 
noticed except in Geneva. On July 13th, Chou En-lai, 
Communist China's Foreign Minister, announced that his 
government, which had been studying treaties concluded 
between foreign powers and the previous regime in China, 
had "examined the Geneva Conventions and found they are 
basically conducive to a lasting peace . . . and . . . decided 
to recognize them.** 

They added, however, one reservation. This was that pris- 
oners "convicted as War Criminals according to the Inter- 
national Military Tribunals of Nuremberg and Tokyo, shall 
not be entitled to the benefits of the Convention.*" 


Under this reservation (carbon-copied from a previous 
Soviet reservation), Red China's recognition of the Geneva 
Convention ixmnd them to nothing at all For, according to 
Communist interpretation, all United Nations troops in 
Korea were foreign invaders engaged in a war of aggression, 
and therefore war criminals to whom the Geneva Convention 
would not apply. 

Why this sudden Communist deference to Geneva? Most 
of our unprotected men they had starved in their Yalu camps 
were long buried. Only because they hoped they had found 
in its text, language which would help them drag home their 
unwilling prisoners. 

In the tent the whole argument now turned on three 
words from that Geneva Convention, a document which the 
Communist side now embraced as Holy Writ. 

Geneva's Article 118 provides that, once the shooting is 


Each side considered this language crystal clear, but put 
on its wording opposite interpretations. The Communists 
argued that the word repatriated meant that each govern- 
ment must have not Just some but all of its prisoners back, 
and that without delay. 

We argued that the intent of the Geneva Conventions is 
not to safeguard governments, but to protect human beings. 
Starting with the word released, we pointed out that this 
could only mean the prisoner must be set free. He could, of 
course, then claim repatriation as a right guaranteed him by 
Geneva. But only if he wanted it. 

By July, with the aid of General Boatner's 1,000 para- 
troopers, we had broken all resistance within our POW 


We now could enter and accurately screen every com- 
pound and, on July 13th, could announce these totals.* 

Not counting the almost 40,000 reclassified Civilian In- 
ternees, we held 130,000 of their prisoners. 

Of these, 83,000 seemed willing to return to their Commu- 
nist homelands. 76,600 were North Koreans and 6,400 were 
Chinese People's Volunteers. 

Of course the Communists hit the tent roof, but not with 
so resonant a thump as on previous times, for there had been 
a slight shift in their position. Absolutely, they insisted, we 
must return-well, if not all 170,000 of their people, then at 
least 116,000. But this final figure must include all Chinese, 
regardless of politics. 

Our side could now relax for a bit of fun. For, according 
to Communist legal hypothesis, the Chinese People's De- 
mocracy was neutral in this war. No soldier of its army was 
in theory on Korean soil. Those Chinese Peopled Volunteers, 
each following his Marxist conscience but with no orders, 
had simply set out on a civilian political camping expedition 
into neighboring Korea. 

Wherefore, we argued, if or since these Chinese were 
really volunteers, why should not that same wild freedom of 
individual conscience which had brought them to Korea, now 
lead most of them further on down south to join Chiang 

The Communist side explosively could not see it, and on 
September 28th we gave them three plans to choose from: 

(1) Send all prisoners to a demilitarized area, where a 
neutral commission would check each man's wishes. 

(2) Each side would check off all prisoners in the Neutral 

* However, no figures can be constant for, until the very end, 
there was a flow of defectors back and forth between Communist and anti- 
Commtmist compounds. Also each week we took more prisoners. W, L. W. 


Zone, and would return those who wished to go. The others, 
restored to the Detaining Power, would then be freed. 

(3) Each side would first return all willing prisoners. The 
others, put in this Neutral Zone, could then go north or 
south as each man chose. 

The trouble, however, was that the Panmunjom Commu- 
nists, peering at General Harrison's innocent-seeming pro- 
posals, shrewdly discerned that under each of his three chips 
there lurked the sinister bug of freedom, and finally returned 
a peevish "No." 

Whereupon General Harrison, seeing that the deadlock 
was hopeless and having other fish to fry, amazed them by 
walking out, which indefinitely recessed the session.* 

By November we had moved our 76,600 North Koreans, 
who if not pro-Communist were at least willing to return, 
into stockades on Koje Island. If they broke out, where 
could they go? Safe from them in a mainland camp which 
could be lightly guarded were the North Koreans who had 
sworn they were dedicated anti-Communists. 

The more placid Chinese^Communist and anti-Commu- 
nist shared the nearby island of Cheju, but of course in 
separate compounds. 

With all this settled, we could now set about helping our 
friends, the Communist negotiators, with their problem of 
"face." This was serious. For as of that moment, our prison 
compounds held 170,000 former soldiers in their armies, all 
of whom they had to insist were loyal Communists. 

With public opinion in neutralist Asia at stake, how could 
we expect those Communist negotiators to admit that, of 
this 170,000 who had sampled Communist rule, more than 

* But it left all offers still open. While this officer was under- 
standably bored with being screamed at, he did, however, leave in the tent 
a skeleton staff, should talks resume. W. L. W. 


half now disliked it so deeply that they were willing even to 
leave their families forever? 

From the Communist point of view, these Panmunjom 
negotiators were perched on a piteously sharp pinnacle. If 
we wanted peace (and we did), somehow we must fetch 
them a ladder on which they could with dignity climb 

This we now moved delicately to do. Included in that 
170,000 total were originally those many thousand South 
Koreans captured in Communist uniform shortly after the 
Inchon landings who had insisted they were anti-Commu- 
nists impressed by force into the invading Red anny. 

Taking them at their word, we had segregated them as 
Civilian Internees, pending a more thorough check. Mean- 
while, some, like those in Compound #62, had changed their 
stories, rioting joyously in the spring to resist screening. 

Now by their own two sworn admissions the South Korean 
Communists in Compound #62 could, under Geneva or any 
other international code, have been tried and shot as recov- 
ered traitors, with the same carefree abandon that the British 
hanged Lord Haw-Haw or that the Soviet Russians had 
executed their anti-Stalin fellow countrymen who had fought 
with the Germans under defecting Soviet General Vlasov. 

For these South Korean Communists (like the Vlasovites) 
had joined the armed forces of an invading enemy and now 
openly boasted they were still loyal to this cause. 

But instead of following Geneva's rules (which would 
have let Syngman Rhee shoot them), we chose a course 
which could have been a page torn from the Girl Scout 
manual, and which must have left the Panmunjom Commu- 
nists secretly gasping at an ultimate example of the self- 
destructive leniency of a decadent bourgeoisie. 

Because, after screening, gently we separated the murder- 
ous South Korean Communists of Compound #62 from the 


anti-Communist Civilian Internees. Tenderly we shepherded 
these traitors, still waving their red flags and bawling Com- 
munist songs, onto Yoncho-do, a neighboring island in the 
Koje-Cheju archipelago. 

There now remained on the mainland 38,000 anti-Commu- 
nist South Korean Civilian Internees, so carefully screened 
that even the wary ROK government agreed they need no 
longer be kept behind barbed wire. 

So in November ( Operations "Homecoming" and "Thanks- 
giving") we released them. From the Communists in Pyong- 
yang came a perfunctory moan of protest. For their captive 
audience in neutralist Asia they had to denounce these re- 
leases as a bestial kidnapping of helpless prisoners. 

Privately they and we knew it was a big step toward 
solving their problem. For world attention would now be 
focused only on the 130,000 prisoners left in our compounds. 
Of these, we had promised that more than half would return. 
And if this was hardly a Communist victory, it would be a 
far less humiliating public defeat. 

So perhaps in Bombay and Jakarta and around the 
weather-beaten marble tops of the Caf6 des Deux Magots* 
tables the intellectuals could still believe. 

But what of the pro-Communist South Korean Civilian 
Internees shipped over to Yoncho-do? Arrived at that remote 
spot, they were reclassified as prisoners of war, in accordance 
with their wishes. For almost a year we lovingly stuffed them 
with calories, vitamins, and other bourgeois goodies. 

Come time for "Big Switch" (in August 1953), we re- 
embarked these traitors and sent them with other prisoners 
back to the land of their political choice, still waving their 
Communist flags, and fattened now to the pink of condition- 
itching to fight us again.* 

* "Whom the Gods would destroy'* it must have seemed to the 
Panmunjom Communists "they first make mad." W. L. W. 


Their Treatment of Ours * 
The Fattening Period 

"IN May of 1952," says The Doctor, "the Chinese 
brought their indoctrination program to a halt perhaps be- 
cause their delegation at Panmunjom was now raising hell 
about our indoctrination of their prisoners. For whatever 
reason, it was a smart move," since the food was slowly im- 
proving they were getting no new converts. "Now they 
brought us books in English Les Miserables, War and Peace, 
Huckleberry Finn,, Of Mice and Men, and Citizen Tom 

"We also got good music on the bitch-boxDavid Oistrakh, 
the Russian violinist, playing Brahms concertos, plus Men- 
delssohn, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven a strong pitch to the 
intellectuals. The only strictly propaganda pitch we got in 
those months was on bug warfare." 

Recordings of the American flyers* "confessions" had been 
broadcast over Camp IFs loud-speaker system in the late 
summer of 1952. Some "confessees" had been brought to lec- 
ture in the enlisted men's compounds, and later, when they 

* Of the long list of Western classics the Chinese gave their 
UN captives in this period, all have one thing in common: they reflect dis- 
content with things as they are. Now a vigorous Literature of Protest is, in 
any free civilization, a sign of health and growth. But note that no compar- 
able native Literature of Protest has been allowed to exist in Communist 
countries. Their state printers will turn out hundreds of thousands of copies 
of John Steinbeck's account of the sufferings of displaced Oklahoma share- 
croppers, but no Soviet literary tear may be dropped for the more than 
3,000,000 Ukrainian kulaks liquidated by tiae Soviet government in exactly 
the same period. W. L. W. 


met at some Inter-Camp Olympics, many asked The Doctor 
if he believed the confessions were true. 

Presently, however, the Americans were teasing their Chi- 
nese guards on this subject. In the spring of 1953 some 
"window"* fluttered down into the camp, and the prisoners 
laughed when their guards rushed out "with their sleeves 
rolled up, surgical fashion," to pick up every bit with chop- 
sticks, fearing they bore cholera germs. 

However, The Doctor says that "I never saw our inter- 
preters, or any of the other educated Chinese, picking up 
this stuff." While they believed the BW propaganda, they 
were shrewd enough to know that "window" was not dropped 
for this purpose. 

Later, two Americans made a tiny parachute and harness 
for a dead rat, which they then tossed on a bush near the 
door to the guards* compound. "When the first one came 
out," The Doctor said, "die poor little peon was scared to 
death and went rushing off to his superiors." 

But the brighter Chinese apparently told him the Ameri- 
cans were only harassing him, so all day the rat swung on 
his bush. As a matter of "face" none would seem to notice it. 

Medical facilities improved, The Doctor reports, but very 

For dysentery, which was still a problem, the Chinese 
now offered sulf aguanidine, "but it came very sporadically. 
Most of the time they depended on powdered charcoal and 
a tannic-acid preparation, which did not touch serious cases.** 

During 1950 and 1951, what passed for a Communist 
prison hospital had no laboratory. But by the summer of 
1952 (when the great need for it was over) they began to 

* Strips of aluminum foil dropped from a plane, which, as they 
flutter down like confetti, baffle the enemy by appearing as an opaque fog 
on his radar screen. It was developed in World War II and used over Ger- 
many. W. L. W. 


do blood counts and urinalyses, a prelude to that great day 
in 1953 when, in their main hospital, they even set up a little 
fluoroscope. At no time did they bring in a real X-ray 

Also the fattening-up process got under way in the sum- 
mer of 1952 when wheat flour arrived in the camp kitchens 
a first gesture toward that '"habitual diet" required by tlie 
Geneva Conventions, which Chou En-lai now announced 
they were recognizing. 

By 1953, cracked corn and kaoliang had vanished, and the 
staple was either a bowl of steamed rice or a couple of four- 
inch loaves of steamed wheat bread. Then there would be a 
six-ounce bowl of the usual vegetables and now a little fat 
in the soup. 

No one was suffering, yet most still had minor deficiency 
diseases. Just before repatriation, the meat ration was 
stepped up to include some pork or canned beef each day. 
In this same final period they got ovens, in which they could 
bake European-style bread. 

But the menu was geared to the talks at Panmunjom. 
When agreement seemed in sight, they got feasts so that 
they would be in top condition when they stepped over the 
line. Whenever the talks lagged or broke off, the menu 

The Ranger 

BACK now to The Ranger, who at the end of Sep- 
tember 1952 was living with a small group. One day their 
senior officer, called out by the Chinese, returned saying 


they wanted the men to make a recording. Then they might 
all be moved to a larger group. 

The others said the hell with helping Chinese propaganda. 
They were happy in their jail as it was: living was as good 
as could be expected, under the circumstances. 

That afternoon the senior officer was called out again and, 
returning, said he had made the recording. An hour later, 
all were moved to a compound now housing 18 officers and 
four enlisted men. 

'They also tried to make us dig a vegetable pit," says The 
Ranger. "So some of the older prisoners taught the younger 
ones how they worked on WPA back in the thirties. You spit 
on your hands, give one grunting swing on the pick, and 
then lean on its handle and talk to the next guy for 15 min- 
utes. At the end of two weeks we were down in the ground 
about three inches. 

"It was as good a POW life as you could ask. The Chinese 
were letting us alone because we had convinced them we 
were dangerous Reactionaries. Actually we were model pris- 
oners, giving them little trouble." 

Their compound knew all the camp gossip because the 
Dog Patch Mail Service was now functioning well. Prisoners 
called out by the Chinese for questioning would whisper to 
each other while waiting in line for interrogation. 

"All bread came from a central cookhouse/ 7 says The 
Ranger, "and each compound would leave a few loaves in 
the bucket, which the Chinese would then distribute to 
other compounds. This stopped when one kindhearted Chi- 
nese gave such a leftover loaf to a hungry Korean, who found 
inside messages intended for other American compounds. 
But they f ound other ways." 

"When I was in solitary," says The Ranger, "a work detail 
of Americans would approach. While part would harass my 
guard, one would pitch me either a pouch of tobacco or a 


message. We were pretty well informed. Prisoners recently 
captured would bring us the World's Series scores. And 
when one announced Lil Abner and Daisy Mae had got 
married, we talked of this for months. 

"In mid-December of '52 the Chinese told us that on 
Christmas and New Year's there would be extra rations, so 
we cut down and decorated a pine tree. Christmas Eve they 
gave us cheap candies, boiled sugar, peanuts, tobacco, an 
ounce of rice wine per man, and a bottle of their export beer 
which still was better than no beer. 

'Then came a letter in English from Camp Commander 
Ding, pretty well written, probably by one of his 'Progres- 
sives,* wishing us a Merry Christmas, and it even had a 
Bible quotation fitting the Communist line: 'The Meek/ he 
boasted, 'shall inherit the earth/ Except we had never found 
anything meek about them. 

'Then we remembered The Artilleryman and The Kid, 
who (we knew from the Dog Patch Mail Service) were in a 
nearby jail. Although the Chinese insisted they would get 
the same extras as we (which we didn't believe), at least 
we wanted to send them cheering messages. 

"All of us pitched in rations. The Chinese let us have some 
red paper, so we wrapped packages for them, making them 
look as nice as we could. Then, with red cloth the Chinese 
gave us, we made a Santa Glaus suit for Chris Lombard, 
a big South African pilot. We dusted his heavy beard with 
flour, and filled a potato sack with these gifts. The Chinese, 
who had got into the spirit of the thing, sent an English- 
speaking officer, with orders, however, that Chris could 
shake hands, but not talk to them/' 

Meanwhile The Artilleryman and The Kid were asleep in 
their shack, since they expected no Christmas, having had 
no contact with any American since April, and not much 
with each other* The Artilleryman could not forgive The Kid 


for having told the Chinese he stole Camp II's assembly bell. 

Even when winter settled down and they had to take off 
their clothes, make a cocoon of them, and huddle together all 
night to save body warmth, they had done it wordlessly. 

The Artilleryman now remembers there came this knock 
at their shack door, and in walks good old Chris Lombard, 
all covered with that Chinese red cloth, and with that white 
flour in his big black beard, and, grinning behind that beard, 
down he puts that sack. And out of that sack, but with never 
a word, comes candy! Peanuts! A bottle of beer! And even 
cigarettes, which they hadn't had for months! Then right 
away, after only one handshake, the guard took Chris away. 

"We sat down," says The Artilleryman, "and we cried our 
eyes out. It was the best Christmas we'd ever had. Not so 
much the stuff Chris brought. But the fact that, on this 
Christmas Eve, someone had thought of us." 

That night, The Artilleryman decided that he and The Kid 
might as well start talking. Not only because each knew the 
other's body warmth was all that had kept him alive on 
those nights 40 and 50 below zero. But really because they 
had had this Christmas together. 

Of course, you could never forgive the lousy little 

for lying you into a 10-month sentence in this crummy Chi- 
nese jail. But, hell. You could forget it, couldn't you?* 

Meanwhile The Ranger was trying to do something to 
buck up American spirit in his compound. They were a 
slatternly mob, with enlisted men calling officers by their 
first names. He told the other junior officers and lower ranks 
that when they behaved as American soldiers should, maybe 
the Chinese would respect them as such. The others liked it, 
so, starting at the bottom, juniors began saluting seniors. 

* Yet perhaps also because, as a practicing militant Christian, 
The Artilleryman could really forgive "Sicwt et nos dimittimus debttoribus 
nostris" W. L. W. 


All were getting into the swing of it when the ranking 
officer of this particular small compound of Camp II told 
the enlisted men to relax and the junior officers not to med- 
dle with his branch of the service. Saluting, he explained, 
might be all right for the Infantry. But in his branch they 
were "all technicians, 7 ' and it was a nuisance. 

Presently the Chinese called this senior officer out, and, 
returning, he told them that the Chinese wanted the prison- 
ers to show them the proper military courtesy, as provided 
by the Geneva Convention. 

"He now wanted us to stand at attention when talking to 
the Chinese, even if they were our juniors in rank or civilian 
interpreters. At roll call we were to salute, and give out with 
a loud 'Here, Sir!' 

"We asked him when did the Chinese get the right to start 
talking about the Geneva Convention? We said we were 
living well, and if we now gave the Chinese an inch, they 
would take an ell. 

"He said he was ashamed of us; we were not acting like 
officers and, since he was our senior, we must toe the mark. 

"We said when the Chinese started showing him the 
proper respect, as the Geneva Convention provided- 
addressed him by his proper military title, instead of just 
yelling c Hey Buster!" when they wanted him we would 
do the same to them. 

"Then we said if he was really taking command which 
we hoped he was what about those two squad leaders the 
Chinese had appointed to handle us? The Geneva Conven- 
tion says we should be under our senior officer, or our elected 
spokesmen. Why didn't he go and tell the Chinese we were 
getting rid of those jokers, and that he was taking over? This 
made him uncomfortable. It's hard to demand things/ he 
explained, and also said he didn't really want command/' 

"When I got a chance," says The Ranger, "I told him I'd 


had a command ever since I was a corporal, and in the Army 
we were brought up that way. I said I realized that in his 
branch all they cared about was strapping a plane to their 
butts and sailing around in the sky, and then suddenly they 
found themselves up to field-grade in rank and pay, but 
unable to handle men. Thoughtfully the senior officer agreed 
that, in his branch of the service, it was *a big problem for 
all of us today/" 

Meanwhile The Ranger and an Air Force lieutenant, who 
wanted a little excitement, were making escape plans. Each 
day they saved some bread from their rations, dried it in the 
sun, and ground it to a powder. They cooked their sugar 
ration down to hard candy. In five months they accumulated 
20 pounds of compressed food, which they hoped would be 
enough for the trip. 

Some of the others guessed what was up, but they told no 
one until May 30th, the night of the take-off. Now they dug 
up and divided their buried food, cut the barbed wire, and 
slowly crawled down the bank of the ravine on which their 
compound was perched. But as they were climbing the 
mountain on the other side, they saw a line of distant flash- 
lights moving toward them. Someone had tipped off the 
Chinese. At this point they found a trail which led around 
the side of a cliff. They had followed it a hundred yards 
when they saw the silhouette of an advancing Chinese officer. 

In the darkness they could not tell how far the cliff 
dropped away beneath them. They decided one should drop 
over its edge and, if he was badly hurt, scream to warn the 

"Wait a minute," said the Air Force lieutenant, "111 
chuck this rock over the side." 

"We never heard the rock hit," says The Ranger, "so that 
ended that. A few minutes later the Chinese picked us up. 
We had taken the precaution of changing into American 


uniform, so they would have BO right under the Geneva 
Convention to shoot us as spies. Now they separated us, 
and slapped me around for about an hour, before they took 
me [to] Commander Ding, who said, The Hole. And don't 
irritate the guard!' 

"I told the interpreter to tell Ding that if they gave me 
enough food and tobacco, and good books to read not 
Communist hogwash why then we'd get along fine!" 

He arrived in the Hole on the 1st of June, 1953, and four 
days later ran out of cigarettes. So he wrote a note: "Camp 
Commander: I need tobacco." signing it with his name and 
army rank. 

"Ten minutes later, Tsai, the interpreter, came double- 
timing it over with the tobacco. After that I got it every 
fourth day, while the others were getting it only once a week. 
I had so much food I was feeding a Korean family on the 
side. I could wash three times a day, which was astounding 
because the first time I was thrown in the Hole there was no 
soap or water for five months." 

Why? The Ranger thinks that "probably a deal was made. 
One of our men must have tipped them off to our escape, 
with the understanding that they would handle us with kid 
gloves so that we would have no reason to yell for a court- 
martial when we got back to the States. 

"I asked for and got a mosquito netting. Also The 
Hunchback of Notre Dame and David Copperfield. Re- 
reading this last in a Communist prison camp after forced 
indoctrination, it seemed to bristle with social injustices 
which I had never noticed before. I was so sensitized to 
propaganda that I wondered if perhaps the Communists 
might not have slit open some of Dickens* sentences to inject 
class poison of their own." 

He also had long talks with Tsai, who explained that the 
Chinese were not so much angered by his escape attempt as 


hurt because he did not appreciate their hospitality. ("How," 
asks The Ranger, "can you live with people like that?") 

"Why," Tsai asked with great earnestness, "don't you like 

Repatriation was nearing and The Ranger thinks it "was 
now his duty to make us like them." 

On his 40th day in the Hole, Tsai announced, "You're too 
expensive. The Camp Commander says we can't afford it 
any longer. You're going to have to go back with the others." 

" 1 like it here, Tsai/ I said, *but just to humor you, I'll 

And so he went. 


As 1952 closed, two neutral bodies tiptoed forward 
with suggestions to get the negotiators back in the Panmun- 
jom truce tent. The Indian delegation to the United Nations 
proposed that prisoners who refused to go back might be 
turned over to a neutral nation. 

America had demurred that, just because a soldier refused 
to go home, surely he should not be kept a life prisoner in a 
foreign land. 

But the basic idea of this Indian plan was, we saw, work- 
able, and after considerable amendment it was adopted by 
54 votes in the Assembly, with only the five Communist Bloc 
votes opposing. 

On this issue of Free Choice, the Civilized World here 
gave us a thunderous victory, crowned with the plan's 
prompt rejection by Peiping. 


In December, the League of Red Cross Societies (which 
is not the IRC) suggested that at least the sick and wounded 
prisoners might be exchanged. The United Nations instantly 
agreed. The Communist side, however, ignored this. 

But still we pushed. In a February letter to his Chinese 
opposite number, General Mark Clark again proposed it. 
On the heels of this came an event of great moment which > 
if Soviet archives are ever opened, may prove to have been 
the pivot of Korean Peace: On March 6, 1953, Stalin died. 
By the month's end Chou En-lai was at the microphone 
endorsing not only the exchange of sick and wounded 
(^Little Switch''), but also pushing for a general settlement 
of the prisoner question: why not first send home all who 
wished to go, and let a neutral state handle those who 
wished to stay? 

Here was a gigantic change. Chou now embraced that 
very Indian plan which only in November Stalin's spokes- 
men before the United Nations had spurned. "Little 
Switch" came off at April's end. Under its terms we traded 
6,000 sick and wounded prisoners from the Communist 
armies for a little more than 600 men they held from our 
side most of them South Koreans, but included were 149 

All spring our prison camps had been bubbling. From 
the anti-Communist compounds had come petitions in blood 
to Eisenhower, to Mark Clark, to Syngman Rhee begging 
that they not be sent home. 

On April 24th, as negotiations at Panmunjom reopened, 
the Communist position seemed granite hard. All non- 
returnees must be removed from Korea, they insisted, to 
neutral soil. Previously they had proposed the Soviet Union 
as a supervising neutral for the Armistice. American Psycho- 
logical Warware forces now made a deft move which was to 
throw more light on Russian neutrality. 


On Sunday, April 27th, their pamphlets were scattered 
over North Korea, offering to the first pilot who would set 
a Soviet jet plane down on Kimpo Air Base near Seoul, 
100,000 American dollars, with $50,000 for every additional 
pilot and jet. 

From nearby Siberia the Communists were able to jam the 
Russian-language part o our broadcast, but the Korean 
portion got through. Pandemonium now reigned in the 
Communist Air Force. For eight days the Russians grounded 
every MIG, while they searched the souls of every pilot for 
tendencies toward treason, after which only those they felt 
were fanatical Communists were allowed back in the air. 
These, it developed, were not their best flyers. For in the 
week ending May 5th we knocked down 11 MIGs and 
crippled seven more, without losing an American plane. As 
more certified Communists took to the skies, in the week 
ending May 22nd we bagged 28 and damaged nine, with- 
out losing a Sabrejet. 

Yet the screening was in vain, for North Korean Lieutenant 
No Kum Sak somehow twisted through its mesh and pres- 
ently lowered his MIG*s wheels onto Kimpo's airstrip. Soon, 
radiant with freedom and a hundred thousand capitalist 
dollars, he was gossiping with Intelligence. Soviet Russian 
instructors had trained him in presumably neutral Manchuria 
and had later supplied his outfit with MIGs. His North 
Korean air division had been cuddled up near a Soviet 
air regiment based at Anshan, Manchuria both units flying 
combat missions over North Korea while, in the United 
Nations Assembly, Soviet delegates had been piously deny- 
ing any participation in the Korean War: they were passion- 
ately for Peace! 

No Kum Sak confirmed again what we already knew; that 
General MacArthur's crossing of the 88th parallel in late 
1950 had not brought Red China into the war. For as early 


as August 1950, while UN troops had been penned into their 
tiny Pusan perimeter, advance units of the Chinese People's 
Army were hurrying across the Yalu, hoping to arrive in 
time to help finish us off. 

No Kum Sak told us (we knew it already) that, in those 
parts of North Korea which joined the Soviet border, Russian 
quartermaster and railway personnel were handling North 
Korea's supply lines, and that Soviet Lieutenant General 
Vashliev headed a mission to North Korea and was in charge 
of training and organizing its army. 

Already we knew that Kim II Sung and Nam II, although 
Koreans by birth, had been commissioned officers in the 
Soviet Army before they were transferred to take over top 
command in North Korea. 

With such facts on Soviet neutrality, and with our Sabre- 
jets gently nudging the Communists toward Peace, progress 
was made at Panmunjom. General Harrison for the United 
Nations rejected any idea that prisoners could be removed 
from Korean soil, and thought two months was long enough 
for Communist explanations to their captive soldiers who 
refused to return. Our nominee for neutral custodian was 

The Communists now fell further back toward the Indian 
plan they had once spurned. They wanted an explaining 
period of four months, the prisoners to be in charge of a 
neutral commission of five nations India, Switzerland, Swe- 
den, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Each would bring its own 
armed forces, and all unresolved questions would later be 
referred to a political conference. 

But at this Syngman Rhee exploded in wrath. The concept 
of Communist troops on her soil had by now, for South 
Korea, lost all its thrill of novelty. Under no circumstances 
would she admit more from Poland and Czechoslovakia, and 


her observers stalked from the tent. The conference re-con- 
vened on June 1st in secret session. South Korea, on the 
sidelines and embittered (with reason, for her sacrifices 
had been greatest), had some consolation from President 
Eisenhower's solemn assurance on May 26th that "no 
prisoner will be repatriated by force, no prisoner will be 
coerced or intimidated in any way." 

On June 8th, both sides came out of secret session with 
an agreement: each had given a little. 

(1) The Communist side had agreed that only India 
would bring a military force to control the prisoners, so that 
no Red flag would fly on South Korean soil. Those willing to 
go back (Big Switch) would be returned within 60 days of 
the signing. 

(2) Both sides agreed on a formula for handling prisoners 
which would assure their freedom not later than 180 days 
from the signing of the Armistice Agreement. After the 60 
days allotted to Big Switch, the remaining prisoners would 
be handed over to the Neutral Nations Supervisory Com- 
mission. During a following 90-day period each side should 
conduct explanations to prisoners held by the other. Those 
prisoners who did not accept repatriation within 30 days 
from the end of this period were to be given civilian status- 
freedom. This final disposition was subject to decisions which 
might be reached sooner at a proposed political conference 
of the governments concerned. 

Meanwhile, the mounting evidence that the United 
Nations was preparing to sign an Armistice produced a 
frenzy of righteous indignation in South Korea. This little 
nation, which had taken the brunt of the war's losses in 
blood, treasure, and captured soldiers, was still eager to 
go on fighting to unify the peninsula. 

According to South Korea's viewpoint her more languid 


United Nations allies, huddling comfortably with the enemy, 
had struck a deal under which unification seemed a for- 
gotten dream, President Rhee made it abundantly clear that 
he intended to fight on, Armistice or no Armistice. 

South Korea had been nursing her grievances (who will 
say they were imagined?) and bided her time. In several 
huge mainland prison camps there were 27,000 North 
Korean prisoners, all of whom in several careful screenings 
had sworn to us they would never be sent back alive. While 
such camps had American commanders, they were lightly 
guarded by ROK soldiers. On June 18th, the Free World 
was amazed by the news of anti-Communist riots in East 
Berlin. Halfway around the world, South Korea staged an 
anti-Communist celebration of her own. Those ROK guards 
opened wide the prison gates. Instantly the 27,000 melted 
into the civilian population of South Korea, including 64 
Chinese who happened to be in the hospital, but who now 
gleefully hopped off with the rest. 

The ensuing diplomatic explosion can be measured only in 
nuclear megatons. The Communists stalked out of the 
Armistice tent, and the queasier of our European allies, 
suspecting that Americans might have connived in this 
skulduggery (we had not), now trembled lest fighting 

On the Yalu, our prisoners in Communist camps were 
furious at Syngman Rhee, fearing he had indefinitely delayed 
their own release. Yet The Doctor remembers loyal leaders 
cautioning the others to show none of this feeling to the 
Chinese, however hard they might swear at Rhee among 

At this juncture, the Communists threw a quick, tough 
offensive against the battle line which badly chewed up an 
ROK division, leaving a hole which had quickly to be 
plugged with American troops. It served as a reminder to 


Seoul that, whatever the spiritual shortcomings of her 
powerful United Nations allies, South Korea was hardly in a 
position to go it alone. 

On the other hand, South Korean troops at that time held 
two-thirds of the UN line in Korea. The United States and 
United Nations saw clearly that if Rhee held to his threats 
they could not sign an armistice in good faith. 

Assistant Secretary of State Walter S. Robertson arrived 
in Seoul on June 24 to keep the Armistice from flopping off 
the rails. On July 9th Rhee finally agreed with Robertson 
that while he would not sign an armistice, he would not 
block it, and would keep his forces under the UN Command. 
This pledge he confirmed in writing letters to President 
Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles, which Robertson 
brought back to Washington. 

The Communists returned to the Armistice tents on July 
10, but now fresh problems arose. For Rhee was still insist- 
ing that no Communist neutral or not could enter South 
Korea. As for India, the fiery anti-Communists of Seoul 
viewed Nehru's position as one of exquisitely balanced po- 
litical hermaphroditism, not less detestable to them than 
open Communism. If an Indian soldier dared set foot on 
South Korean soil, her troops would open fire! 

According to a face-saving formula, worked out by Assist- 
ant Secretary Robertson and General Clark and accepted by 
President Rhee, the neutralist Indians would be wafted by 
helicopter to the Neutral Zone, which was four kilometers 
wide, up the delta of the demilitarized river Han. The Com- 
munist Czechs and Poles could enter from the Communist 

Thus the hard-won soil of South Korea would neither be 
ground under any Communist heel, nor scuffed by neutralist 

Although the Communists continued to moan over Rhee's 


releases, yet, as privately they knew, this dark thundercloud 
had its milium lining. For the score card again improved in 
their favor because, by this late date in the war, a total of 

171,000 prisoners who had once worn their uniforms, had 
been in United Nations prison camps. Of these, 
according to careful UN screenings, only 

83,000 had been willing to return, of which they already 
had got back 6,000 in Little Switch. However, 

88,000 of their former soldiers had revolted to anti-Commu- 
nism, which would have been a world disgrace had 
it been revealed in neutral explanations. The release 
of 38,000 Civilian Internees left only 

50,000 who might disgrace them. And now that Syngman 
Rhee had loosed 27,000 of these, they need only 
be embarrassed by the public spectacle of 

23,000 of their own people refusing to return. 

Whereas, in consolation, immediately the Armistice was 
signed, they would get back those 77,000 well-fed and 
healthy repatriates. And someday the world might forget 
that more than half the men we captured in Korea had 
preferred exile to Communism. 

It could, they realized, be worse. So when Mark Clark 
gave them assurances that the South Koreans would abide 
by the Armistice and conditions, willingly they returned to 
the conference table. 

By late July 1953, every i was dotted, and each t crossed. 
This Armistice Agreement was not what either side wanted, 
but the best each could get. 

The anti-Ctommunists in United Nations prison camps 
were now uneasy, fearful of betrayal, and, after two and a 
half years, in a frenzy to get out from behind barbed wire. 


They knew that, according to the Armistice terms, the pro- 
Communists among them were being released immediately, 
to return to their families and Communist "freedom/' such 
as it was. 

How much longer would the anti-Communist prisoners 
we held be forced to wait? Could the Communist negotiators 
delay their release indefinitely? Might not the neutralist 
Indians, whom they mistrusted, in the end betray them? 

To allay such fears, General Harrison, chief UN negotiator, 
had riveted into this Armistice Agreement an iron timetable. 
The Armistice signatures had been blotted on July 27th. 
After this exactly 60 days ( no more) were allotted for return- 
ing prisoners who wanted to go back. 

The following 90 days (not an hour more) were set apart 
for explanations to those who did not want to return. All 
such balking prisoners would then be in custody of the 
Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission Czechs, Poles, 
Swiss, and Swedes, with India in the chair to decide disputes. 
But these explanations must be finished by December 23rd. 

Foreseeing, however, that all might not be settled, another 
30 days (no more) were allotted for a political conference, 
which might meet to adjust differences. But if they could 
not agree, General Harrison's timetable provided that the 
Repatriation Commission then was to declare the prisoners* 
"relief from Prisoner of War status to Civilian status." Or, 
said more simply, it was to turn them loose not later than 
January 23, 1954 exactly 180 days after the Armistice 

We could now distribute to our anti-Communist prison- 
ers, calendars on which they could check off each of those 
days, with the certainty that no one could hold them an 
hour longer. 

Yet in spite of this rigid timetable, the Communist side 
could gloat over a considerable victory. Perhaps the men 


in our camps who balked at return did so only because of 
the heavy indoctrination America had given them. Once 
removed to Indian custody, the effects of this would dissolve. 
The Communists could also count on hundreds of secret 
agents they had planted in these compounds. 

With time and these trained agents on the Communist 
side, why should they need even six months? 

So at Panmunjom, the Communist negotiators could sign 
General Harrison's timetable with hopeful smiles. 

Our Treatment of Theirs 
A Hard Marxist Care 

AT the moment the Communists were signing the 
Panmunjom Armistice, Colonel William R. Robinette, who 
previously had controlled 26,000 Communist Koreans on 
Koje, had been sent to neighboring Yoncho-do to handle an 
even tougher Communist contingent of Koreans, whom we 
have met before in these pages. 

Early in the war, Communists told their armies that we 
killed all officers we captured, so in the roundups of 1950 
many, when capture was likely, had changed to civilian 
clothes, and so had been sent by us to civilian-internee 

"Later," says Colonel Robinette, "when they found they 
were well treated, and had Red Cross protection, they came 
out in the open, admitted they were officers, and insisted 
that their status be changed to POWs, so they could not be 
asked to work." 

Such had been many of those in .Civilian Internee Com- 


pound #62 which had rioted so merrily the previous year. 
Then, after screening, the hard-core Communists had been 
moved out onto Yoncho-do. 

Well fed now, and with nothing to do but lie around in 
the sun, these officers devoted their surplus energies to 
harassing their jailors, particularly as time for return ap- 

"Inspecting a compound," says Colonel Robinette, "I 
would see a man in rags, and order them replaced. The 
hanchos didn't like this. They wanted to embarrass the 
Americans before the International Red Cross." 

Even in these hard-core compounds, a few waverers 
wanted to come over to our side, but it was hard, the Colonel 
reports, "because the others might drag him from the fence 
before the guards could do anything, and then, unless we 
could identify him and quickly get him out, they would Ml 
him. Their safest way of defection was to go on sick call, 
and then defect to the American doctor.* 7 

The waverer's problem (regardless of his politics) was 
further complicated by the fact that the compound of his 
choice did not instantly accept him he might be a spy for 
the other side. One such newcomer, says Colonel Robinette, 
to prove he was a die-hard Communist was ordered by the 
hancho to attack one of our guards, who was wearing a 
helmet-liner which probably saved his life, because the 
shovel cut a 5-inch gash in it. 

*When we tried to replace worn uniforms, getting them 
ready for Big Switch, the Communists would deliberately 
trade clothing to get garments which did not fit, to put blame 
on us. We would see a man wearing a size 7 shoe on one foot 
and a size 11 on the other each shoe a different color all 
to make us lose face." 

Just before departure, there was a final screening to see 


that all got the choice they wanted, and here we used a 
technique devised by the ROK Army. 

"Syngman Rhee," says the Colonel, "wanted to make sure 
that no anti-Communists were dragged back in Big Switch. 
The prisoners were marched from their compounds toward 
the wharf in column of twos. Presently they reached a long 
line of wooden A-frames like sawhorses which we had 
wrapped in barbed wire and lashed together like a road- 

"It was about five feet high, five feet thick at the base, and 
50 feet long. Arriving at one end of this, the column split 
into two single files, separated by this barrier. Now they 
were halted and, for one minute, a ROK officer explained 
that no one need be sent back by force. In this position any 
were free to leave, for it was impossible for the others to 
hold or harm a defector. As the ROK officer spoke, the 
tougher Communists spat on the ground, or stamped, to 
show their disapproval. 

"The LSTs landed them at Inchon on August 13th and, 
before boarding the train, the prisoners were warned that if 
they got noisy or sang Communist songs, civilians along the 
right of way might stone them. We had covered the train 
windows with wire mesh, but, not knowing it was for their 
protection, many ripped it off. 

"We had searched every prisoner before they left Yoncho- 
do, but aboard the train they had a surprise for us. They 
broke out with thousands of North Korean flags, which they 
waved wildly. At some points South Korean school children 
had lined up to watch the train go by and, when they saw 
the Communist flags, these tots cut loose with a hailstorm of 

"How had the prisoners made the flags? with our tools 
and materials. Aboard the train they had cut up their GI 
shorts into strips with American razor blades. Their flag is a 


red triangle between two blue stripes. The dye they had 
hidden in the big, brass disc with its red starin their offi- 
cers* caps some carrying blue, and others red. 

'They were reasonably well behaved until at Munsan-ni, 
on the southern edge of the demilitarized zone, they ran into 
the Communist Red Cross people, who told them: 'You don't 
want to wear that filthy UN clothing/ So next morning, the 
day of the exchange, they were up at dawn, singing, yelling, 
waving flags, and snake-dancing with old friends they had 
met from other compounds all of them mother-naked except 
for their Communist caps with those red stars, their shoes, 
and a small breechclout which they had made from a towel, 
tied on with a shoestring. 

"In this costume we loaded them into trucks for the ex- 
change point. Now they began tossing away their shoes. 
Along this road were tons of discarded GI clothing some of 
it burning, others crushed into the dirt under the truck 

But Colonel Robinette, a gentleman of the Old School and 
a native Virginian, with high standards in matters of female 
gentility, reports that "their women were the worst." Among 
our returnees were several hundred North Korean WACs, 
and, once loaded into the railway car where they knew they 
could not be tear-gassed, these merry Marxist minxes pro- 
ceeded to show their dainty disdain for all things capitalist 
by tidily turning it into a shambles. 

First they smashed every window in every coach. Then 
they slashed the seat coverings with razor blades. Thirdly, 
climbing up on the seats, blithely they urinated into the 
upholstery. Finally, and just before leaving the train, mili- 
tantly and definitively they defecated in the aisles. 



Our Treatment of Theirs * 

The Anti-Communist Prisoner* 

WITH the signing of the Armistice on July 27, 1953, 
those in charge of the United Nations POW compounds on 
Koje and Cheju-do faced a grave risk with much at stake. 

Here surely was a situation which would have amazed 
Karl Marx. According to his narrow creed, capitalist democ- 
racies fight wars only to extend colonial empires, or to grab 
military bases, raw materials, or markets for those surpluses 
they will not let their enslaved peoples consume. 

In sharp contradiction to this, Korea could be, to the 
American people, only a heavy military and economic lia- 
bility. The United Nations had entered the war solely to help 
South Korea hold her political freedom. For more than 18 
months this fighting had been prolonged on the single ideal- 
istic issue of giving prisoners captured from Communist 
armies that same liberty of political choice. 

Yet, we who had raised this quixotic issue now faced a 
gruelling test. For, of the 171,000 prisoners we originally 



held, we had unilaterally released a total of 65,000 who, after 
careful screening, we had found to be firmly anti-Communist. 
However, the civilized world had only our unsupported word 
that this was true. The Communists were screaming that it 
was a lie. 

Big Switch would return to the Communist side those 
77-odd thousands who, in the same screenings, had told us 
they were willing to go back. This would leave in Pusan and 
Cheju almost 23,000 North Koreans and Chinese who, we 
insisted, had been found in screenings to be as firmly anti- 
Communist as the 65,000 we had already released. 

But if, when they entered the Neutral Zone at Kaesong and 
faced the Communist explainers, any considerable percent- 
age of these almost 23,000 reverted to Communism, the 
world would wonder (and with reason) if this would not 
also have been true of those we had already let go free. Had 
those screenings been fair? 

So now, just before the 23,000 were moved to the Neutral 
Zone, we put them through still another screening. We 
wanted, first of all, to comb out and return to the Com- 
munists all waverers, although with these we had much 

For in such a situation, vacillation need not mean weak- 
ness of character. A North Korean might be strongly anti- 
Communist, and yet deeply tied to his family and his village. 
Understandably, such forces might tug him this way and 
that, varying almost with the hour. But however much we 
might sympathize with such a man, he was to us a risk we 
wished to be rid of. Far better to return him to Communism 
now, than to have him break down in front of the world in 
title explaining tent, with some story (to protect himself and 
his family) that all along we had been terrorizing him to 

There was also the problem of Communist agents. Already 


we guessed (but could not yet prove) that many had been 
assigned to our compounds. 

The anti-Communist Chinese on Cheju protested this 
screening as a senseless formality. They conceded that some 
agents were still lurking. But, they assured us, all were 
known. They had devised the following careful scheme for 
handling them: after the compounds had been moved to the 
Neutral Zone, at daybreak of the first day under Indian con- 
trol the Chinese planned to nail the skulls of those Commu- 
nist spies to the entrance posts of their enclosures, as proof 
to the world of their unswerving anti-Ctommunism. 

Col. Kenneth K. Hansen, Chief of UN Command Psycho- 
logical Warfare, handling this situation on the scene, dis- 
posed of this plan with the gentle tact it deserved. It would, 
the Colonel pointed out, horrify the neutralist Indians, 
alienate the sensitive Swiss and Swedes, and give to the Com- 
munist Poles and Czechs ammunition which would turn 
world opinion against them. 

So, wistfully abandoning their plan, the anti-Communist 
Chinese gave us the names of 85 suspected Communist 

These, however, furiously protested. They were, they in- 
sisted, passionate anti-Communists who would never return. 
Any Chinese who charged otherwise could only be himself 
a Communist agent! 

Without believing their story, Colonel Hansen caused all 
85 protesting Chinese to be put into a compound apart, 
which presently was to make Communist history. 

In this final American screening, we found among the 
anti-Communist Koreans 200 who belatedly decided to go 
back to the North. Only a few were discouraged Communist 
agents. Most, according to Colonel Hansen, were homesick 
waverers who could not quite face another six months be- 
hind wire. 


There had been another reversal. Just before "Big Switch" 
spokesmen for a North Korean compound on Koje-do which, 
through all the many screenings, had stayed firmly and 
unanimously Communist, now announced that they had 
decided not to go back. 

"But you said you were all Communists!" said the UN 
camp commander. 

"So sorry. Big mistake. Now all an^-Communist." So the 
screening now seemed to prove. They also were to carve 
their notch in History. 

The literate prisoners learned most of the Agreement by 
heart. All asked many questions. The truth was that, like any 
compromise document, it contained much that was far from 
clear, and which later provoked many arguments, not only 
among our prisoners, but among members of that Neutral 
Nations Repatriation Commission which was charged with 
its enforcement. 

Reading the clause which provided that they were to be 
moved to the demilitarized zone, the anti-Communist pris- 
oners were thrown into an agony of apprehension. Com- 
pound leaders now told the United Nations that the men 
would not budge from their present camps. 

For in that demilitarized zone, this Armistice Agreement 
provided that less than three kilometers away would be the 
Communist armies they had deserted. They knew these 
armies held them to be traitors, and would welcome any 
chance to catch and shoot them. 

From this fate they would be protected only by a lightly 
armed brigade of Indian troops whom they feared as danger- 
ously left-of-center Communist-lovers. 

The fact that United Nations authorities knew these fears 
were groundless did not make them any less real to the 
prisoners. Furthermore, secret Communist agents among 
them were trying to spread panic. 


For the Communist side was becoming increasingly un- 
easy at what might happen in the explanations. If their 
agents could incite the prisoners to a mass break-out, then 
the Communists could claim they had been abducted by the 
UN, and thus avoid a public showdown. 

To counteract rumors, the UN Command started a tri- 
weekly newspaper, Flash, and also worked to build confi- 
dence in the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission. 

The anti-Communist Chinese mistrusted India because 
Nehru, once friendly to Chiang Kai-shek, had quickly 
switched his affections to Chou En-lai. About Switzerland 
and Sweden most of the prisoners knew nothing. 

The UN Command now prepared pamphlets on each of 
these three countries, bearing a picture of its flag on one side 
and on the other enough of its history to establish its record 
for fair-dealings. They also showed the prisoners documen- 
tary films, Switzerland, Sweden Looks Ahead, and Switzer- 
land Today. 

No suitable film on India was available, but the Indian 
Red Cross suggested that we get from India's Embassy in 
Tokyo some material which filled gaps in the prisoners* 
knowledge and quieted their fears. 

To dispel their dread of kidnapping, we distributed maps 
of their new camp, showing close at hand the UN armies 
with tanks, artillery, and bayonets fixed, ready to counter 
any such move. 

Now that the Armistice was signed, we could promise the 
anti-Communist Chinese they would be welcome in For- 
mosa. Both Chiang Kai-shek and Syngman Rhee issued wel- 
coming proclamations. Not only were tape recordings of 
these broadcast, but both governments sent delegations to 
persuade the men to move to the Neutral Zone. Reassuring 
statements from President Eisenhower and from C. L. Mehta, 
Indian Ambassador in Washington, also helped. 


They were promised that in the Neutral Zone, American 
food, clothing, and medical supplies would continue. 

Now we translated General Harrison's timetable into a 
180-day calendar passed out to each prisoner, showing them 
that certain release must come for all at least by January 23, 
1954, which we named "Freedom Day." 

Armed with these calendars, the prisoners were reassured, 
but could not understand why, since an armistice had been 
signed, they still needed guards. 

Only to defend them, we pointed out, on their trip to the 
Neutral Zone, and, for the same reason, an American combat 
division would be backed up against it: in this they saw 
sound sense. 

We also assured them that their cherished educational 
program would not be wrecked. Their instructors (they now 
were promised) could go to the transfer point. Lessons 
would be marked ahead in their books for each of those 180 
days. Other texts would be supplied by the Indians. Likewise 
the delegates of the International Red Cross (it was to be 
their final service in the war) would follow to that edge. 

We also agreed that each man might take equipment 
needed by tailors, cobblers, and barbers to keep the men 
smart, bearing themselves proudly as honorable soldiers 
before the Neutral Nations and their foes, the Communist 

We were, however, due for some surprises. For instance 
we found that, although they had started with nothing, in 
those almost three years some prisoners had become rich 
and others poor. Using his cigarettes as money, a prisoner 
would buy a hen from a Korean guard. Her daily egg would 
presently 'make him prosperous. Others had peddled the 
vegetables they raised to the natives on Cheju and Koje. 

On this point Major General Charles Christenberry, Chief 
of Staff for the Far East Command, finally ruled that this was 


no time to liquidate such budding capitalistseach kulak 
might take along all he could lift. 

These points settled, they wanted to know about explana- 
tions. Would they come, like the UN's screenings, as indi- 
vidual interviews, or would it be done by compounds? 

We told them all we knew, which was that fifty explaining 
teams would have 76 working days to explain to 23,000 anti- 
Communist prisoners. If each team interviewed six per day, 
it could be done. But if for any reason they lagged, then 
explanations might come by groups. 

Our most important task was to rid them, if possible, of 
their dread of the unknown: what exactly would happen in 
the explanations. It was of course all set forth in complicated 
incomprehensibility in the Armistice Agreement. But to 
make these words come alive for simple peasants, so that 
they would not dread the ordeal, we devised a brilliant plan. 

According to Colonel Robinette, "the mock explanations 
down on Cheju were to school them on the questions that 
probably would be asked, and what pressures might be put 
on them." Because this was so effective, it was later to be 
furiously denounced by the Communists, who presently 
learned of it through defecting agents. 

According to the Communist version, only two weeks after 
the Armistice "compound leaders and sub-leaders were called 
in to attend rehearsals of explanations"* which were con- 
ducted by "American civilian CIE officials" in other words, 
Osborne's group. In these rehearsals, various people "took 
the parts of Communist explainers, American Observers, and 
the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission and prisoners." 

Our purpose was, through these little plays, to show the 
most illiterate prisoner what was ahead for him just where 
he would stand in the explaining tent, how far away the 

* All Communist citations here from Pure Perfidy by Allan. Win- 
nington and Wilfred Biarchett, Peking, 1954. W. L. W. 


Communist explainers would be seated, what they might 
ask him, how he could reply, and, if rules were violated, 
how he might expect aid from the UN observers, and just 
where they would be placed. 

The Communists, however, viewed Osborne's rehearsals 
as practically a school for obscenity, because "the more pro- 
fane and insulting the cries of the explainee the more vig- 
orous his attacks on the explainer the more enthusiastically 
the < American Observers' applauded. The latter were also 
constantly jumping to their feet and protesting at the type 
of explanations given, and protecting* the prisoner." 

So "af ter 10 days of this," concludes Wang Hsu, a returning 
Communist agent as reported by Wilmington and Burchett, 
"we were sent back to our compounds so that we could 
direct rehearsals for the rest of the prisoners. They continued 
daily for over two months until 10 days before we left Cheju 
for the CFI area." 

By which time our anti-Communist Chinese prisoners no 
longer fearing the future and thoroughly prepared for what 
was to come by Monta Osborne's little dramas were eager 
to move on down to the explaining tents. 

Big Switch 
The Yaln Camps 

IN their Communist prison camps along the Yalu, 
our men had been reading in the Chinese-edited Daily News 
Release every syllable of the Armistice Negotiations. So 
when, on July 27th, Camp Commander Ding ordered them 
all assembled for an announcement, they knew what it 
would be. 


As he told them of the signing and as Communist news 
cameras swept their assembled faces, "we dead-panned it" 
reports The Doctor, "as we had agreed among ourselves 
to do." 

"And then came the most boring month I have ever lived 
through: the short wait is the rough one." Reports were that 
the International Red Cross would be admitted to visit their 
camp, and instantly the Chinese launched a big sanitation 
driveeverything broom-clean and whitewashed. "Since it 
was a dress-up show at the very end strictly for propa- 
ganda" says The Doctor, "we didn't go along." 

The IRC visit did not come off and thereby hangs a tale. 
When at Panmunjom it was suggested, the Communists sur- 
prisingly agreed. But they proposed a mixed delegation of 
North Korean and Chinese Red Crosses, with the Interna- 
tional from Geneva representing the non-Communist side. 

But now the International Red Cross refused. In its careful 
position of neutrality, it could not even at the end repre- 
sent one side alone. 

So the UN prisoners on the Yalu were told that a few 
picked by the Chinese would be taken out to meet repre- 
sentatives of several national Red Cross societies. 

When a Canadian Red Cross delegate asked about camp 
conditions, a little American Negro prisoner "gave them both 
barrels," reports The Doctor, '*but the Red Cross veered 
away, saying Well take it up later/ Obviously they were in 
no position to get into a hassle with the Chinese, who stayed 
during all the interviews." 

Presently the Chinese brought in a huge load of Red Cross 
knicknacks and then (this was amazing) tiptoed away, let- 
ting the men handle the distribution, so no one could hint 
they had favored their "Progressives." There were tooth paste 
and brushes, medical soap, and, for each man, two cartons 
of American cigarettes "we smoked," The Doctor remem- 
bers, "until our throats were swollen." 


Two days later trucks took them to the railhead at Mampo, 
where, loaded into cattle cars, they headed south, with sev- 
eral halts to wash and eat. Along the roadside the civilians 
would smile and wave, "often giving us the Churchill V- 
sign." What did it mean? "Back in camp," answered The 
Doctor, "very often a Korean guard would ask a prisoner 
what chance there might be that we would come in and 
liberate them. They couldn't all have been informers/' 

The Ranger "decided to give away all that Red Cross 
stuff everything that said USA on it to those people along 
the track waving us off. 

"At one whistle stop we asked a Korean guard on the plat- 
form where we were. He answered in English, but then one 
of the Chinese interpreters ( they were still with us ) ordered 
the guard away. The guard said he had instructions to stay. 
So the interpreter called some Chinese soldiers who got off 
the train, but the Korean guard poked them back on with 
the point of his bayonet. There was no love lost between 

"Since everyone spoke English, we yelled to the Korean 
guard that if the Chinese didn't get out of their country, 
we'd come back and kick the hell out of them. As we pulled 
out, the guard had a wide grin." 

"They unloaded us in Pyongyang in the late afternoon," 
says The Doctor. "It had been a large city, well built by the 
Japanese when I had last seen it. Now it was flat. Here we 
saw our first Occidental a Czech boy probably part of their 
Neutral Nations Repatriation team. He seemed afraid to talk 
to us. And then on down toward Tent City in Kaesong, 
which was heavily guarded." 

"Tsai, one of the interpreters from the camp, was still on 
the truck with us," says The Ranger, "but I knew he would 
be leaving us soon. I had been thinking about that agent- 
dropping business which, while I had been a prisoner, I 


hadn't seen fit to discuss with the Chinese. In connection 
with this, there was the case of The Lame Captain in my 
outfit who had been captured four months after me. The 
Chinese knew he had some knowledge of this guerilla war- 
fare. I knew this captain had seen them kill one of the British 
officers. I heard they had been working on the captain to 
try to get him to sign a 'confession* that the Britisher had 
been killed while trying to escapeand if The Lame Captain 
didn't sign, they would kill him. Through our Dog Patch 
inter-camp mail service, we knew a lot. 

"So now, in the truck, I got hold of Tsai. We were, at this 
point, about four miles from Freedom Village. I figured that, 
if need be, I could jump out and double-time it ahead, for 
I was in pretty good condition. During solitary they had 
shrunk me to 110 but now they had fattened me back to 144. 

"So I told Tsai I knew all about The Lame Captain knew 
every jail he had been in knew they now had him in 
shackles and leg irons up in No-Name Valley. And if they 
didn't unlock and repatriate him by tomorrow noon., we 
would see that Tsai, Ding, and some other Chinese would 
have their throats cut by guerillas, because we had agents 
not only over all of North Korea, but also in their armies. 
Some of this was even true, I hoped, I wondered what would 
happen, and was soon to find out." 

"They unloaded us/' resumed The Doctor, "at the imme- 
diate outskirts of Kaesong. Now we were divided into truck- 
loads. The next 45 minutes until the trucks came to take us 
into the demilitarized zone were the longest wait of my 
life. Finally they arrived, and with them came the first con- 
tingent of Red Cross people we had seen during captivity 
they were Australians, who drove up in a jeep as the trucks 
were loading. 

"My name did not come up until the 10th roll call, and it 
seemed to us who waited although this could have been our 


imaginationthat the ones who had played with the Chinese 
got out on the earlier trucks. 

"'Study hard, Comrade, and youll get home/ Ding had 
promised, when the indoctrination began. With us it had 
become a jeering slogan. In the end their pay-off was only 
those few minutes' advantage. 

"At last my name was called and our truck moved off, to 
make a final halt at the roadblock into the Neutral Zone, 
where the Red Cross, with their list of names, got out to 
check the list held by the guard. 

"Now we entered this Zone. The sides of the road were 
strewn with GI clothing and equipment. Then we saw 
where it had come from. Trucks began to pass us, coming 
up from the south loaded with their Communist prisoners, 
who were tossing this equipment over the sides, the men 
stripped down now to their shorts but waving Red banners, 
and madly singing Communist songs.* 

"Next we saw a jeep with two GIs not prisoners! I had 
never seen sharper soldiers! Then a Marine colonel a mag- 
nificent-looking man in an impeccable uniform. 

"'Hello, fellows,* he said, "glad you're back/ A lot of us 
were wet-eyed by now. 

"At Freedom Village the first meal was simple, and low in 
salt content. They were afraid that since we had been on a 
low salt diet for almost three years, it might now make us 

As for The Ranger, he had for so long kept a tight rein 
on himself guarding against all those Chinese questions 
that "even crossing the line my emotions were pent up, and 
I wondered if I could stay mentally balanced when freedom 

* They were part of that 76,000 we were returning. Probably 
most were only homesick for their villages. Now, however, all had to pretend 
to be fanatical Communists so anything American was now contaminating. 


Actually it did not hit him all at once. His principal feeling 
was "shame to come out as a repatriated prisoner not an 
escapee." Freedom broke over him by degrees: "I didn't 
sleep the first two nights, and spent most of my time looking 
at magazines catching up on what had happened: It's 
amazing how many little advances there were in fountain 
pens, watches, and gadgets, in so short a time." 

As for the 23 Americans who stayed, The Doctor believes 
that most were "probably informers, who had been told so 
many times by the other Americans what would happen 
when they all got back across the line, that they went to the 
Chinese and said 'Look, we can't go home!* 

"Although politics had not been a big issue with us for 
months, it followed us out. One Australian boy had been 
friendly with the Chinese both during indoctrination and 
after. Now, with all the rest of us overjoyed to be back, I 
saw him sitting off in a corner. He was holding his head 
between his hands, crying. It was the saddest thing I saw in 
Freedom Village." 

"So now," says The Ranger, "for The Lame Captain who 
the Chinese suspected (and I wouldn't know why) had been 
dropping agents. Well, by one of those coincidences, as they 
were packaging us for the steamer trip back home, I ran into 
him on the dock at Inchon. 

"He was really bewildered. Back in No-Name Valley, the 
Chinese hadn't even told him about the Armistice. But only 
yesterday they had come rushing into his hut, unlocked his 
shackles, and tossed him into a truck. Honking people out 
of the way, the truck, running night and day, had high- 
balled it on down from the Yalu to Kaesong, where they 
practically pitched him over the line. He figured he was one 
of the last men out, and wondered why, 

"I couldn't help him." 


Must They Confess? H 

(Continued from Page 182) 

DUBJNG all those weeks in Chinese military court 
at Mukden, Air Force Captain Theodore R. Harris had to 
stand at attention. But he would confess to nothing. When- 
ever he spoke up in his own defense, the presiding officer 
would fly into a Chinese rage and adjourn proceedings. 

Charges involved bacterial warfare, psychological warfare, 
and violation of Soviet territory. Repeatedly they reminded 
him that if he confessed, he would cease to be a war criminal 
and recover his rights as a prisoner of war. 

When his anwers annoyed them they would put him, for 
a few days, in handcuffs and shackles. Twice they stuffed 
him, with his head between his knees, into a small box whose 
ventilation was a half-inch hole. His clothes became soggy 
with his own dripping sweat. The loss of this brought on 
unbelievable thirst. When they would open up briefly to let 
him out, his arms and legs would be paralyzed. Guards 
would take turns pounding on his box with clubs, and for 
months he had a ringing in his ears, but Captain Harris 
would, at this point, confess to nothing. 

So then one day, for no reason he could see, they let him 
out of the box, saying his trial was over. He was now blind- 
folded again, and jeeped back to the outskirts of Mukden. 
Here there were no more questions. He was better fed, they 
even let him wash, they brought him propaganda literature 
and said he could walk around in his cell. They exchanged 
his old uniform, stiff with the dried salt of his sweat, for a 
new one, washed his bedding, and cleaned up the place. 


He asked the interpreter if he could be with other Ameri- 
can prisoners and write to his family. 

'That depends on your political consciousness." 

Then quite suddenly, on a day they said was September 2, 
1953, they told him the war was over. He figured this would 
be a year and almost two months since his RB-29 had gone 
down burning. They said he would be repatriated if he 
signed a statment that, while a prisoner, he had been well 

Taking their paper, he wrote: 

In my 14 months of confinement, I have received more 
education than I have had in the previous 29 years of 
my life. 

Theodore R. Harris, 
Cap*., US Air Force 

They read it, and settled for that. 

From nowhere they now produced the surviving members 
of his crew, loaded them into a weapons carrier, and took 
them to the train. There was to be no talking. 

Their coach was one of two taking American Air Force 
people from Mukden in Manchuria to the POW exchange 
point down at Kaesong. After the train crossed the Yalu they 
raised the shades on the coaches. But still no talking. Now 
the Chinese were treating them well the food was good and 
their manner cordial. They were almost guests. 

On September 4th in Kaesong they were put in separate 
tents; talking still unallowed. Next day they were put up on 
a wooden stage, had their pictures taken, and were told this 
was a joint Chinese-North Korean military and civil court. 
Now they listened to a document which gave the charges 
on which they had been taken to Manchuria, where investi- 
gation had proved they were not guilty, so that they were 
being repatriated. 

The last paragraph, however, stated that Captain Theo- 


dore R. Harris and members of his crew admitted voluntarily 
that other units of the United States Air Force had been 
engaged in Bacterial Warfare in the northeast provinces of 

Captain Theodore R. Harris stood up in court. 

"That's a God-damned lie!" he shouted. None of the others 
said anything. 

Then, through the interpreter, he demanded a copy of 
the court order, but with an amendment deleting its last 
paragraph the one which said they had admitted other 
Americans had dropped germ bombs. He was told this would 
not be granted. They were marched back to their tents. 

But before they separated, and while still in the crew's 
hearing, he told the interpreter that, under these circum- 
stances, he would not accept repatriation. 

"The interpreter,** says Captain Harris, "didn't think I was 

Next morning, the Chinese came around, telling them to 
pack for repatriation. While the others got their gear to- 
gether, Captain Harris sat in front of his tent, smoking. He 
had been a long time without tobacco. 

Pretty soon the interpreter, noticing this, came over and 
asked why. 

"I told him again," said Captain Harris, "that I was abso- 
lutely refusing repatriation under a false and disgraceful 
assumption." The interpreter went away. 

Now the Chinese took the tents down, and rolled them up. 
Trucks came along. The tents were loaded into one, and 
Harris' crew into the other. As this one took off in the direc- 
tion of Freedom Village, the crew waved back at Captain 
Harris, who, still sitting on the ground in front of where his 
tent had been, now waved back to them. 

No one else was around. It was good to smoke again. 

In what could have been about an hour the interpreter 
came back in a jeep with three soldiers, who tried to force 


him aboard. After Captain Harris, in his struggles, had 
smashed the instrument panel of the jeep, they let him alone. 
There were not enough of them to hold him down in the 

Toward evening, the same interpreter and more of his 
"agit-prop clowns" came back in a fleet of jeeps and a truck. 
They got out and formed a circle around Captain Harris. 

He told them he wasn't leaving until he got a copy of that 
document in English, showing that its final paragraph had 
been stricken out, and that was how it was going to be. 

Now they closed in on him. There were enough of them 
to get him into the body of the truck. Six of them sat on him. 
Then the truck took off for Freedom Village. 

There is an extensive literature presenting factually, and 
in detail, the physical, mental, and spiritual tortures inflicted 
by the Chinese on our Air Force prisoners, before they finally 
would "confess" to Bacterial Warfare. 

It has been worth no one's while to write of Captain Theo- 
dore R. Harris. Because he was never brainwashed. And he 
would confess to nothing. 

It is in a way nice, however, to know that while 38 Air 
Force people "confessed," there were 40 like Captain Theo- 
dore R. Harris. 

Consider now the score of our American Air Force captives 
in this matter of Bacterial Warfare. During the Korean war, 
131 of them were captured alive. Of these, 40 were never 
questioned on Germ Warfare, presumably because most were 
captured prior to November 1951, the date the Communists 
convinced themselves we had begun it. 

Thirteen others were asked if they had dropped germs, 
and when they said no, the subject was dropped. 

But 78 were asked the question, and when they denied it, 
got some sort of pressure. 

Low man for character and stability on the Air Force 


totem pole probably is the pilot who, after repatriation, ex- 
plained that before his final mission he had been told by his 
American intelligence officer that he was to give name, rank, 
and serial number and nothing more, unless the enemy 
"looks like they mean to get what they are after," 

So, captured and questioned, he confined himself to this 
until, the next day, "they fed me fish soup. Good God 
Fish Soup! Then I knew they really meant to get what they 
wanted, so I said just what they asked me to." Out of such 
shoddy human material, the Communists wove the myths 
with which they fooled themselves. 

In fairness to a few others who "confessed" almost as 
quickly, they thought they were playing a practical joke on 
the Chinese. Those captured before May 1951 had no idea 
that such "jokes" were to be used in a world-wide Commu- 
nist propaganda campaign. Each pilot assumed it would be 
almost a private matter between him and his gullible Chinese 

Some more shrewdly hoped that, by "confessing" to such 
nonsense which the Chinese were so eager to hear, they 
might guard from the questioner important matters they 
knew were under heavy security. 

But of the 78 who got some sort of pressure to "confess" 
to Bacterial Warfare, it should never be forgotten that 40 
which is more than half like Captain Harris did not confess 
at all. 

The 38 who babbled of Germ Warfare needed varying 
degrees of pressure before they collapsed. Two, like the 
fish-hating pilot, signed confessions after less than four 
days' questioning. Seven gave up after less than 10 days. 
One was questioned almost a year before he caved in. 

But returning now to the 40 unpublicized non-confessors, 
we find at least three who, like Captain Harris, stood up for 
more than a year under pressure which included solitary 


confinement, extreme physical torture, threats of death, and 
doubts as to their status as prisoners of war. 

All 78 were carefully questioned after their return from 
captivity, and it seems the degree of pressure put on those 
40 who did not confess was no less than that put on the 38 
who babbled "confessions" of germ warfare. Here is the 


Threats of non-repatriation 33 21 

Threats of death 33 33 
Mock execution (digging own 

grave) 9 5 

Convicted of war crimes 15 23 

Isolation for more than a month 8 11 

Physical abuse, third degree 12 12 

Sub-standard living conditions 8 8 
Denied permission to go to the 

toilet 1 

Denied food 7 8 

What these 78 got was a taste of Staling legal system, 
which was based on the extorted confession. Typical of its 
methods as used on Russia's Old Bolsheviks are those of 
"Investigative Judge Rodos, a vile person, with the brain of a 
bird and morally degenerate/" who later explained that he 
had been told his victims "were People's Enemies, and for 
this reason I, as an Investigative Judge, had to make them 
confess that they are enemies, 7 * which he could do "only 
through long tortures."* 

* These fevered adjectives are not the irresponsible outpourings 
of unsympathetic Right Wing critics of the Russian socialist experiment, but 
are quoted from a speech delivered to the closed session of the 20th Con- 
gress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on the night of February 
24, 1956, by Nikita Khrushchev, its First Secretary. W. L. W. 


In their trials of our flyers the Chinese Communists, imita- 
tive as monkeys, were only copying Moscow's then revered 
judicial masterpieces. There are, of course, enormous differ- 
ences between Lenin's old friends broken by Stalin, and the 
American pilots captured by the Chinese. 

But it was in each case Stalin's brutal methods of juris- 
prudencelater piously denounced by his heirs and bene- 
ficiaries in the Kremlin which produced the absurd con- 

We have seen, in Russia, rehabilitation of Stalin's victims. 
The names of many of Lenin's old comrades, shot after mak- 
ing nonsensical "confessions" in open court, have been re- 
turned with reverence to Soviet histories. 

The Kremlin could hardly be expected now to bother to 
rehabilitate our Air Force men. Yet a day could come when, 
even to a left-of-center Indian intellectual, American Bac- 
terial Warfare may seem as silly as Stalin's Doctors' Plot. 

Big Switch Yardsticks 

IN Big Switch the Communists returned to our 
side 12,757 prisoners-3,597 Americans, 1,312 UN, and 7,848 
South Koreans, a fraction of her more than 50,000 sons the 
Communists claimed they had captured. 

In exchange we sent them 70,159 North Koreans and 5,640 
Chinese who were willing to go home: total, 75,799. 

Troubled by the problem of collaboration, the Defense 
Department began studies on 3,300 returned American pris- 
oners to find out who had done it and why. 

Army figures show that 15% of the Americans had actively 


collaborated with the Chinese, and 5% had vigorously re- 
sisted. That left a vast middle ground of 8035 who had not 
gone beyond signing an occasional mass "peace petition"' to 
let their relatives know they were alive. 

Against these over-all figures 5% resisters, 802 middle 
ground, and 1535 collaboratorsthey compared various 
groups. They found, for instance, that the Infantry that 
Queen of Battles had a higher-than-normal percentage of 

Among officers, they found the middle ground shrunken 
far below its 80% normal. Most officers vigorously took sides, 
as one would expect in a leadership group. 

Among men of long army service the percent of middle- 
grounders was low. Again, more took active sideseither to 
resist or to collaborate. 

The record of Negro prisoners in Korea was that 2.5% re- 
sisted,* while 21% collaborated. Other prisoners pointed out 
the Chinese spent far more time working on the Negroes, 
since Communists spend much time fomenting race hatred 
in non-Communist lands. 

Intensive studies were made by an Army psychiatrist on 
a sampling of repatriates. According to his figures, two offi- 
cers actively resisted for each one who collaborated almost 
a reversal of the over-all 5% resister-15% collaborator figures. 

Regular Army enlisted men had one collaborator for every 
resister, with few in the middle-ground group. Among the 
AUS draftees, the middle-ground neutralist group was far 
larger, but three actively resisted for every one who col- 

* This percent of open resisters does not include members of 
the secret Golden Cross organization formed by Negroes to bolster patriot- 
ism and morale. Likewise their collaborating 20 includes many who were 
giving only lip service to the Chinese. Modern Negroes would say they out- 
witted their indoctrinators by feigning a spurious "Unde Tom" attitude. 
W. L. W. 


More significant were the differences in physical condition. 
The resisters had received a high number of battle wounds: 
probably they had been unable to prevent their capture. 
Few of the collaborators had been wounded: perhaps they 
had put up their hands at first sight of the enemy. 

But most collaborators tended to blame their capture on 
someone else 'They let me down!" although the psychia- 
trist shrewdly guesses that "this may be a personality trait." 
Often they were chronic whiners who surrendered with 
little struggle, and then followed Chinese orders as the easi- 
est way. 

The collaborators are further betrayed by another differ- 
ence; they came out of prison camp in far better physical 
shape than those who had resisted. 

The Army found that symptoms of psychiatric disorder 
were more common among those who collaborated than 
among the resisters. This is also borne out by British studies. 
They compare their collaboration rate of about 12% (against 
the American 15%) with the 10% of their soldiers who in 
World War II broke under the strain of combat with some 
psychoneurotic ailment, and also with the 1035 who in civil 
life have to be treated for kindred mental illness. Those who 
succumbed early, either to indoctrination or to interrogation, 
say the British, "were weak in character and low in intelli- 
gence" and often both. 

So there stands the typical collaborator as painted by sta- 
tistics: a man of unstable character who might well have 
become a PN (Psychoneurotic) casualty, and who let himself 
be captured with little struggle, blaming his plight on others. 
In camp he served the Communists without accepting their 
doctrines, as the easiest way. As a result, he emerged bettei 
fed, but psychiatric tests still revealed those character flaws 
which led both to his capture and to his later collaboration. 


By any yardstick in the Korean struggle our first armed 
clash with Communism our prisoners were treated with a 
savagery unequalled in modern times. More than a fifth of 
the few we got back were, in spite of the fattening period, 
diagnosed as suffering from malnutrition. Their average 
weight loss in captivity was 21 pounds, yet 257 of them had 
lost 40 pounds or more, but this is the least of it. 

Although half of those who survived prison camp had 
been wounded prior to capture (this takes no account of 
the hundreds who died of badly treated wounds), 35% were 
still suffering from the effects of frostbite following capture. 

The real and terrible story is told in the contrast between 
our struggle with the Nazis in World War II, and this more 
recent one with the Communists in Korea: 

In World War II, of the total reported Missing in Action 
by the American Army, 18% got back safely to our lines, 793? 
were later returned alive as prisoners of war, and ordy 3% 

But in Korea, of those reported Missing in Action by the 
American Army, 12% got back to their units, only 303? lived 
to be exchanged as prisoners of war, and an almost unbeliev- 
able 58% died behind Communist lines. 

Just how did the 6,425 American army prisoners die in 
North Korea? That is a Veiled Mystery of the Lenient 
Policy, which can be solved only in part. Some probably 
were killed soon after capture, or quickly died of untreated 
wounds. Still other uncounted hundreds dropped out of 
"marches/* as narrated by The Artilleryman, and were left 
by the roadside. Of these there is no record. Nor were their 
graves eyer marked. 

Of those who reached a Communist prison camp where 
their names were finally listed, we have a sketchy record of 


2,730 Americans from all services who died on that cracked- 
corn dieteither because the Chinese hoped to soften up 
the survivors for their April indoctrination, or because, al- 
though short of food and drugs, the Communists spurned 
help the Red Cross offered, in oriental fear of losing "face." 
It may have seemed more dignified to lose United Nations 
prisoners. For whichever reason it was (perhaps both), the 
scorned Red Cross parcels could have saved those 2,730 lives. 
Of the remaining approximately 3,700 American soldiers 
Missing in Action and now presumed dead, there was for a 
while flickering hope for a few hundred. Although they did 
not emerge alive, there had come, from behind Communist 
lines, some whisper of their names. A few had appeared on 
propaganda appeals. Others were mentioned in letters from 
prisoners as being at some point still alive. The Communists, 
however, deny that they could have existed on their lists. 
Whether they were bayoneted near the front, or later died 
either in execution of some carefully contrived Marxist 
theory or through fathomless Communist incompetence, 
probably their families will never know. 

An Army with Banners 

So now in September 1953, as the United Nations 
welcomed their few living prisoners and mourned their many 
dead, a huge flotilla of LSTs was casting off from the Koje 
Cheju Yoncho archipelago. 

It brought 22,604 anti-Communist prisoners from our 
camps to the demilitarized zone, where they would be in 
custody of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission. 


As agreed in the tent at Panmunjom, the Commission's 
Left Wing ( Czechoslovakia, Poland) and its Right ( Sweden, 
Switzerland) were to be kept in balance by neutralist India, 
the chief of whose delegation Lieutenant General K. S. 
Thimayya would be in the chair. 

Under this NNRC's orders was Custodial Force India, 
commanded by Indian General Thorat, less than 3,000 men, 
about half of whom were armed, charged with keeping those 
22,604 in order. 

Quickly United Nations observers saw that India had 
combed her armies to send soldiers of tact, sound sense, and 
firmness for this delicate task. Lieutenant General Thimayya, 
a veteran of World War II and six towering feet of soldier, 
brought to this Neutral Zone a thick slice of that tradition 
of fairness (and dry humor) which was the Anglo-Saxon 
legacy to the army of rising India. 

Yet with the take-over, trouble immediately began. The 
arriving prisoners, covering their fear of kidnapping with an 
almost hysterical defiance, had been braced to meet Com- 
munists at the explaining tables. But they were utterly 
unprepared to find their former masters, glittering in those 
uniforms the prisoners had now rejected, standing stonily 
at the check-in tables, as the Indians were marking off each 

Perhaps it was only the first of many tricks. Maybe the 
Communists wanted names so each man's family could be 
harassed, and so that he might, in the explanations, be 
confronted with data. 

Furious, the first POW group arrived with fist-sized rocks, 
with which they pelted the Communist observers. Lieutenant 
General William K. Harrison, Jr., Chief of Staff of the UN 
Command, now pointed out that weeks ago the Indians had 
been warned the prisoners, on sight of uniformed Commu- 
nists, "might be violent ... the incident of 10 September in 


which Communist personnel were stoned during the delivery 
of the POW bears out our fears." 

General Thimayya now asked both sides "not to send 
observers while the prisoners are being taken into custody." 

The UN assented, but North Korean Lieutenant General 
Lee Sang Cho answered that since the riots were caused 
wholly by "the special agents who mingled with the pris- 
oners of war" the Communist side "cannot agree at all." 

The truth is that near the head of the parade of incoming 
prisoners was that very "So sorrybig mistake!" compound 
of 400 Koreans who for three years had remained Com- 
munists but, at the final hour, had made a complete flop. It 
was they who, to prove their new zeal, had stoned the 

At the time of transfer, however, nine of this group had 
run to the Indian troopers and asked repatriation. They 
were probably agents who had been deposed after their 
three-year rule of this compound. 

Thimayya now confessed to General Harrison that the 
NNRC had had no idea of "the highly-organized fanaticism 
of the men we were taking over/* 

Thimayya was meanwhile getting bitter memoranda from 
the Communists, who charged that "the United States Side" 
had long been "hatching plots," with the result that "special 
agents" of the "puppet Rhee" and "bandit Chiang" had 
"usurped the names of Prisoners of War," had given the 
prisoners "the flags of Chiang and Rhee, the photographs 
and messages of bandit Chiang and clothes printed with the 
insignia of Chiang and Rhee," and were now "openly 
demanding" that their "present organizations recognized by 
the United Nations Command be maintained." They were 
also furious to learn that the prisoners had asked that "the 
Red Cross Society of Free China (that is, of Bandit Chiang)" 
be let to "come to their quarters and comfort them." 


They further charged that agents "have forced the Pris- 
oners of War to bring a great number of flags of the Chiang 
Kai-shek brigands and the Rhee clique, which are openly . . . 
hoisted in front of the tents under the control of Custodial 
Force India and the Neutral Nations Repatriation Com- 
mission," and the "so-called camp guards* 7 had "given 
command to Prisoners of War with their whistles," to the 
end that the camps had become "a living hell under the 
control of special agents of Chiang and Rhee!" 

Behind this eloquence there was truth, only if you 
translate the Communist term "agent" as meaning any anti- 
Communist Oriental. 

The Swiss and Swedish members of the Neutral Nations 
Commission were later to find "no evidence" that all were 
not bona fide prisoners of war. It was surely true, however, 
that the anti-Communist prisoners, whose political faith had 
already survived several careful screenings, were now march- 
ing as an army with banners. Their leaders (elected as 
Geneva requires) were enforcing that discipline which the 
men felt was needed if they were to survive the pressure of 
explanations, detect (and punish) spies, hold waverers in 
line, and march out to freedom on January 23rd, 

None of this fierce spirit was of our American making, but 
rather a product of the place and hour. 

The Communist side, backed by its Czech and Polish 
members on the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission, 
now moved that this NNRC smash the prisoners* organiza- 
tion "essentially of a terroristic nature" by segregating its 

The Swiss and Swedes demurred. They pointed out that 
POW organizations were allowed by the Geneva Convention, 
so the NNRC should only "punish wrongdoers." 

India here took still a third position. They agreed with 
the Communists that it would be desirable to remove the 


leaders. But they pointed out that for the moment Custodial 
Force India lacked the number of rifles to do the job, and 
doubted that, considering the danger of a break-out, it 
would be worth "the results achieved/ 7 For India had at the 
moment only "1,524 effective riflemen" guarding 22,604 

The Communists, however, persisted, on September 26th 
handing the NNRC a list of 400 names of men who 
"according to reliable information" (i.e., their own secret 
Communist agents) were not captives at all, but "special 
agents of Chiang and Rhee." 

Who actually were these 400? The elected anti-Commu- 
nist leaders of each compound. But if they could now be 
removed, the trained Communist agents might then have 
a chance to win control. Already the prisoners were fright- 
ened. If their elected anti-Communist leaders were now torn 
from them, most would be sure that India was selling them 
down the river, and that their only hope would lie in making 
quick peace with Communism. 

Meanwhile, as the 22,604 prisoners filed past the NNRC's 
check-in tables, about every 30 minutes a prisoner would 
step out and ask for repatriation, while Communist onlookers 
cheered. Some were hidden agents, now throwing in the 
sponge. Probably more were waverers, deciding at last to 
go back. 

But when later questioned by the Communists, their 
stories would of necessity be the same. The agents, as a 
matter of patriotic duty, would spin a tale of horror concern- 
ing the camp they had left. The waverer would need an 
alibi, and so would tell a similar story. 

Nung Sam, who defected to the Communists in early 
September with such a story, was probably such a waverer, 
for in his tale, released September 20th to the Communist 


press, lie gives a narrative of prison life under the Americans, 
in which a structure of basic fact is adorned with horror. 

In his Compound #93 our screening had begun April 8th. 
His version is that in this compound of almost 5,000, "the 
Americans segregated approximately 1,200 POW insisting 
on repatriation" who "underwent brutal tortures [unspeci- 
fied] day and night." 

Throughout our compounds, that spring, thousands of 
anti-Communists were writing to UN leaders letters in blood 
begging that they not be sent back home. Nung Sam's 
charge, of course, is that American authorities "mobilized 
more than 300 men of the so-called Anti-Communist Youth 
League'' who "forced the POW to write blood letters . . ." 

And if any Communist now wondered why Nung Sam's 
signature had been so included, this was only because he was 
beaten for over an hour by five individuals," was in "fear of 
death" and "unable to speak a word of my cherished desire 
to go home." 

To impress UN leaders that they would never go back 
short of force, anti-Communist prisoners had tattooed slogans 
on their bodies. How does waverer Nung Sam now explain 
his tattooings? The brutal Americans had issued a "special 
order," and "as for me I was beaten and tortured" and finally 
let them tattoo "the letters 'Absolutely Resist Repatriation' " 
only "to escape from death." 

At the time of the turn-over, we had let the prisoners take 
with them all the precious books and vocational tools they 
could carry. Nung Sam's distortion is that in his camp secret 
agents of Rhee, "disguising themselves as prisoners," brought 
along "4 axes, 2 saws, 4 hammers and 3 files ... for the 
purpose of killing prisoners who heartily desired to return 
to the Fatherland." 

In this period, the Communists scored on us a victory of 
some importance. On the night of September 24th, Chinese 


Compound D-31 had already filed past the check-in point 
and were settling down in their new quarters under Indian 
custody. One of their staunch anti-Communist leaders was 
Sergeant Wang Hasin, who, because of his seeming devotion 
to the cause, and his undoubted skill as an organizer, they 
had elected assistant compound leader. 

This night of September 24th was chilly. Sergeant Wang 
Hasin now explained that he was leaving his tent to ask the 
Indians to provide them with more blankets, and would be 
back shortly. 

When he failed to return in half an hour the prisoners 
grew restless. When he was not back at midnight the entire 
camp, awake, alarmed, and angry, were demanding of the 
Indians the return of their kidnapped leader. 

What they could not then believe was that all along Wang 
Hasin had been a secret Communist agent, who had chosen 
this hour to return, feeling that further effort was hopeless. 

When the Indians tried to tell them the truth, the pris- 
oners started a first-class riot, not realizing that at that very 
moment, Wang Hasin, surrounded by adoring Communist 
journalists, was delivering a tale of American atrocities, per- 
petrated by "spies from Taiwan" (Formosa) who had "car- 
ried out the election of leaders of various units." 

General Thorat, head of CFI, handled it superbly. Enter- 
ing the excited compound (he might have been mauled), he 
reproached the rioters with lack of that traditional courtesy 
the Chinese show visitors. He demanded tea and cigarettes, 
which presently he got. Squatting now with the bewildered 
anti-Communist leaders, at last he persuaded them that their 
trusted colleague had really defected, and so could not be 

As for Wang Hasin's story to the Communist world there 
are, embedded in his vein of fancy, sizable nuggets of fact. 
His account of the rehearsed explanations on Cheju as em- 


bellished for publication by Wilmington and Burchett 
hung on a framework of fact. His version of the delegations 
openly sent after the Armistice by the Chiang Kai-shek gov- 
ernment to invite anti-Communist prisoners to Taiwan, has 
few (if important) distortions. 

As might be expected, he depicts the Taiwan officials as 
instructing the prisoners that "all waverers must be killed/* 
either by "slow hanging" or "poisoning, with powder made 
from steel wool," showing them "how to powder it and mix 
it in the victim's food." 

The Communist side, however, enthralled by these and 
other flights of fancy offered to them by returning agents and 
waverers seeking to please, missed in Wang Hasin's account 
an ominous truth. For, in concluding, he admitted that the 
anti-Communist leaders had "a hold on the majority of 

Although explanations could have begun the next day 
(September 26th), the Communists, seeking more delay, 
now made objections to the explaining stockades ( they had 
been planned by the Indians) and demanded new ones, 
although this might take three weeks. 

Keeping faith with our prisoners, however, we rejected the 
Communist demand that these three weeks be added Gen- 
eral Harrison's timetable must be followed and the Indians 

But now came a surprise. Back on Cheju the anti-Commu- 
nist Chinese had given us a list of 85 they suspected of being 
Communist secret agents. 

These 85 we had segregated (over their violent protests). 
The Indians had assigned them to Chinese Compound B-ll. 
So no American was amazed when, on September 27th, the 
spokesman of this compound asked to talk to an NNRC sub- 
committee, and explained the 85 had been "coerced" into 
refusing repatriation. 


But then, as they were leaving, 21 lagged behind. And 
when the other 64 were a safe distance away, they told the 
Indians they did not want repatriation. 

Here was news as staggering as it was comical 21 known 
Communist agents, in the end choosing the side they had 
secretly been working for months to betray! 

The remaining 64 agents, however, showed little gratitude 
to tie Americans for saving their lives by segregating them 
from the vengeful anti-Communist Chinese, and presently 
were star performers at a Communist press conference 
where they passed themselves off as innocent waverers, and 
at which "for many minutes," according to the ever gullible 
Winnington and Burchett, "there was nothing but uncon- 
trolled sobbing, as first one and then another started recount- 
ing their experiences. " 

One agent displayed <f half his right ear" the other part 
having been lost in a political dispute. Another could show 
black-and-blue marks on his shins, which the Communist 
audience acknowledged with dutiful "gasps of horror." 

Others told "how hunks of flesh were cut from their arms 
and legs, and how their comrades were forced to cook and 
eat them." Winnington and Burchett also swallowed this 
with gusto. 

Yet privately the top Communists now began to see that 
they had been the victim of their own bad intelligence. With 
explanations ever closer, it was becoming increasingly dan- 
gerous for their returning agents to lie. Whatever they 
might say to the Communist press, they now had to tell their 
bosses privately that the camp was overwhelmingly anti- 
Communist and not terrorized by "Chiang and Bhee agents/* 

So what to do? First, by any pretext to postpone explana- 
tions: objections to the explaining stockades took care of this 
for now. Secondly, by some means to get rid of the elected 


anti-Communist leaders. Then perhaps the confused mob 
might be stampeded. 

But before explanations could begin, the Neutral Nations 
Repatriation Commission had the task of informing the pris- 
oners of their right either to ask repatriation or reject it. 
America now protested strongly, insisting (it was true) that 
prisoners had already been informed while in United Nations 

Sensibly the NNRC now overruled us. They could hardly 
ask the protesting Communist side to take our word that this 
had been properly done. So the Commission told the pris- 
oners, "We are here to enable you freely to exercise your 
right to be repatriated," assuring them that "no one can pre- 
vent you from returning to your homes, nor is anyone al- 
lowed to compel or force you" and that, if "anyone attempts 
to put such pressure on you," their names should be reported 
to Custodial Force India. 

Furthermore, those who wished to go home would be sent 
back at any time, and the announcement added that some 
who had asked the Indians for repatriation "have already 
been released." 

Translated into Korean and Chinese, this was passed out 
to the prisoners, whereupon we loosed a second bellow. The 
Chinese text, we charged, had been twisted by a Communist 
translator to give the impression that the NNRC felt it was 
almost the duty of all prisoners to go home. 

Two Chinese-speaking Swedes on the Commission who 
had made the translation later privately admitted there were 
differences between their text and the one passed out to 
prisoners. However, Sweden voted with the Commission 
unanimously to overrule us, feeling (probably wisely) that, 
in so niggling a matter, it was best to lean over backward to 
be fair to the Communists. 

These meanwhile had been grappling with their major ob- 


stacle, which was how to rid the compounds of their elected 
anti-Communist leaders. 

The UN's insight into such Communist problems is based 
not on unsupported guesses, but instead on word-for-word 
reports of top Communist conferences we were to get much 
later from a pivotal defector. Lee Chun Bong, their top 
interpreter, later came over to our side, bringing his com- 
plete story, as a climax to a strange career. 

He had been by profession a schoolteacher in the southern 
part of Korea, but in 1944, seeking a better job, he took his 
wife and two children to Japanese-occupied Manchuria. 
Here, working in a coal mine, he learned Chinese. 

When Japan collapsed, he joined (in 1945) the Chinese 
Communist Army. Three years later they admitted him to 
their Communist party. 

When in May of 1950 (two months before the Korean 
War) the Chinese Communists ordered 45,000 Korean-born 
members of their party to return to that People's Democracy 
to take part in the coming assault on South Korea, they held 
back Lee Chun Bong. He was now a Chinese Army captain, 
to be saved for higher things. 

In October 1950, the Chinese People's Volunteers officially 
entered North Korea, so he was ordered along as a crack 
interpreter, since he spoke flawless Japanese, Chinese, and 

With the Armistice, he got the top honor for his skills- 
appointment as chief interpreter to North Korean Lieutenant 
General Lee Sang Cho, chairman of the Communist delega- 
tion to the Military Armistice Commission, who spoke good 
Russian but no Chinese. 

Captain-Interpreter Lee Chun Bong was now a part of 
every top Communist huddle. Already planning to defect, he 
made careful notes, so that much later when, at the very end, 
he strolled casually over to the United Nations lines after 


nine years' service in the Chinese Communist Army, he could 
tell us exactly what each side had said in every intra- 
Communist argument, at every stage in that six months* 

Disposing of the prisoners' elected anti-Communist lead- 
ers remained throughout, according to defecting Captain- 
Interpreter Lee Chun Bong, a major Communist problem. 

On the morning of October 4th they put into operation a 
carefully devised plan. At dawn, two hidden Communist 
agents bolted out of Chinese Compound #28, and ran scream- 
ing toward the Indian guards. During the night, they in- 
sisted, there had been a murder most foul. A loyal member 
of the Chinese People's Volunteers named Chang Tsu-lung, 
earnestly desiring repatriation, had been done in by Kuomin- 
tang agents. 

Alarmed, the Indians now asked the two agents if they 
could identify the murderers. They could. And, of course, 
they put the finger on seven elected anti-Communist leaders 
of Compound #28. 

Now previously the NNRC had turned down all Commu- 
nist demands to segregate compound leaders, agreeing to 
remove only "wrongdoers." But, since these seven were 
accused of murder, the Indians felt they would have no 

The trouble was, however, that neither on Indian nor on 
United Nations rosters could the name of any Chang Tsu- 
lung be found in Compound #28. But the Communist side 
for the moment seemed in no hurry to press for a murder 

In a situation so complex (and so squirming with intrigue), 
it is small wonder the Indians were often bewildered. Gen- 
eral Thimayya, for instance, was puzzled by the leaflet bear- 
ing, on one side, "a printed flag of India: on the reverse of 
it a short essay on India's foreign and domestic policy." 


Thinaayya now urbanely wrote us that, "however flattering 
an account it may have been" to India, it served no useful 

He was presently straightened out on this point by General 
Mark Clark, who replied that this and other educational 
material on India had been provided "at the express request 
of the head of the Indian Red Cross" to allay the prisoners' 
"deep mistrust of India and the NNRC," and only "to en- 
courage them to share our faith and trust in the integrity 
and impartiality of India." 

As for the prisoners, General Clark pointed out, they had 
"made their choice many months ago/' and was sure (he 
proved to be right) "the vast majority will adhere to this 

General Thimayya, while mollified on the subject of the 
pamphlet, whose purpose "I confess I did not understand," 
on the subject of the prisoners* allegiance remained skeptical 
since, even before explanations, "some 110 prisoners of war" 
(they were largely discouraged agents) "have already asked 
for repatriation," and "even more significant is the fact that 
not one of the POW dare openly in their camps to ask for 

General Thimayya had only just arrived. His judgment 
here was based on the lurid stories told by Communist agents 
who had scuttled to safety. There was, however, truth 
in what he said. 

For the prisoners, filtered through five screenings and now 
bolstering one another in their choice, were inflamed to a 
pitch of anti-Communist fervor hardly understandable in 
America or Western Europe; still less in neutralist India. 

The anti-Communists now held themselves to be a fighting 
army in which deserters deserved contempt, and spies, death. 
Any waverer stupid enough to proclaim that he planned to 


desert would, in some compounds, certainly be roughed up, 
and might run the risk of being taken for a spy. 

Yet it was also true that, during each hour of those long 
months under Indian custody, a waverer with even a vestige 
of sense could pick his moment to walk up to an Indian and 
be whisked back to Communism without risking a hair on 
his head. As all prisoners understood. And as several hun- 
dred (of these many thousands) were to do. 

The prisoners were meanwhile fearful of the explanations. 
One Chinese compound, addressing the NNRC, introduced 
themselves as having "escaped from beyond the Iron Cur- 
tain," since "Communists had enslaved our country and sold 
it to Russia," and now regarded "Chou and Mao as the big- 
gest tyrants in our history." They felt that "Communist ex- 
plainers have chased us here, and intend to deceive us to 
return to the state of torture." 

The nub of this protest was a rule the NNRC had adopted 
governing explanations. It had estimated that a compound 
of about 500 prisoners could be explained to each day, if all 
went well. It seldom did and, also foreseeing this, the NNRC 
had provided for splitting such a compound into separate 

Those who had been explained to and had asked repatri- 
ation would be released. Those who, after listening, had 
refused repatriation would be led to a new pen. At the end 
of the day any part of the compound still unexplained to 
would stay in that compound awaiting explanations. 

When the prisoners read these rules, their objections to 
this seemingly unimportant paragraph (No. 20) was passion- 
ate. For suppose, in a given compound, all elected anti- 
Communist leaders were called out early, and then put in a 
distant pen? Back in the old pen, hidden Communist agents 
might come into the open and, by terror or skilled wheedling, 


stampede the rump. They could see Rule 20 only as a Com- 
munist plot. 

Removed as we are by years and thousands of miles from 
those compounds, such fears seem silly; they were, to 
the prisoners, intensely real: protests poured in. Saluting 
Thimayya as "Friendly General!" Compound #50 proclaimed 

all of us anti-Communists, except about 60 betrayers who 
escaped into the hands of the Communists since we have 
been here, refuse to meet the Communist explainers with 
desperate courage! 

On October 13th the Communist side told the NNRC it 
would be ready to explain on the 15th, and asked for a 
thousand Chinese from Compounds #31 and #28. 

Mark well that #28 was the "murder'* compound where, 
two Communist agents now insisted, the butchered half- 
devoured corpse of nonexistent Chang Tsu-lung lay buried 
under one of the tents, for which crime seven of #28*s elected 
anti-Communist leaders had been removed and now were 
locked up by the Indians awaiting trial. 

However, leaders of both compounds balked, and over 
Rule 20. Before they would come out, they wanted to talk 
matters over with the Commission, in the presence of the 
world press. 

The Commission's Czechs here objected, for, according to 
Communist logic, all "leaders" were imported assassins who 
should not be dignified by recognition. However, the Swedes, 
Swiss, and Indians prevailed, and a parley was held. But 
even after the prisoners were promised that Rule 20 would 
be waived, so that "those who desired not to seek repatri- 
ation would be brought back to the same compound from 
whence they were taken out," still they were uneasy. 


For months the Communist side, outraged at the whole 
concept of letting prisoners choose, had given no list of their 
UN prisoners who might refuse repatriation. Now at this 
zero hour, they produced not those missing thousands of 
South Koreans, but a tiny clutch of 335. In addition they 
flaunted the 23 Americans and a lone Englishman who, the 
Communists said, refused to go home, but would now let 
us try to coax them. 

In this delicate matter America had called in Dr. Joseph 
Lohman, sociologist, penologist, and criminologist on the 
staff of the University of Chicago, who, after pondering case 
histories of the American 23, advised that we let them sim- 
mer longer in uncertainty. So, with Britain and South Korea 
concurring, we told the Indians we were in no great fret to 
get at them. 

They and we could wait. 

Explanations The Chinese 

NEXT morning (it was October 15) the curtain 
rose on the first explanations. The United Nations team of 
representatives, interpreters, and observers consisted of 75 
Americans, 50 Republic of Korea officers, and 50 Chinese 
or Chinese-Americans under Mr. Chen Yi, who holds a mas- 
ter's degree from the University of Chicago. 

Although the Communist side monotonously roared that 
these last 50 were paid assassins sent from Taiwan by "Ban- 
dit Chiang/* not one was from Formosa and few had ever 
touched that isle. Yet all had loved ones on the Chinese main- 
land who might suffer if they were identified. And although 


press cameras and tape recorders were barred from the ex- 
planations area, the NNRC members were free to take all the 
pictures they liked, so the Communist Czechs and Poles 
sneaked candid shots. 

The UN headquarters was a group of about 80 floored 
tents, sealed with wallboard and heated with potbellied 
stoves, in an apple orchard next the completely flattened 
Korean town of Munsan-ni, on the south edge of the Demili- 
tarized Zone. Colonel William R. Robinette, who was in 
charge of the Korean group, remembers it as "an interna- 
tional city Chinese, Koreans, Americans, and reporters from 
all over the world. 

"There was a little recreation room where we could meet 
our friends, and discuss the day's events in the explaining 
tents over a bottle of beer. In the nearby hills were thou- 
sands of pheasant, which on our off-duty days, we hunted 
amongst the land-mines and barbed-wire." On the opposite 
side of the demilitarized zone the Communists had a similar 
camp, unseen by any UN eyes. 

Munsan-ni, according to reporter Paul Garvey of USIS, is 
about 12 miles from the Demilitarized Zone, to reach 
which you cross the Imjin River over Freedom Bridge, 
Beyond were the UN and Indian checkpoints. 

"We would leave before dawn in jeeps and busses holding 
about 40 people each," remembers Colonel Robinette. "Our 
road led past the prisoners' compound. Always they were up 
to greet us with cheers and songs, and we would wipe the 
fog off the bus windows to wave back at them, so they could 
see our UN armbands. Their trust in us was touching. They 
cheered us as liberators. It brought a lump to your throat. 

"Some of our people who were working with the Chinese 
had sewed China-Burma-India theater patches on their 
shoulders so that, in the explaining tent, the prisoner would 
realize he had a friend. One man sewed them on both 


The explanation area was still more cosmopolitan a Paris 
Ritz Bar set down on a lonely moor. For here the UN dele- 
gation met Lieutenant General Thimayya, whom Garvey 
remembers as "tall, handsome, and very smartly turned out 
in a pre-battle-dress British uniform with brass buttons shin- 
ingand always carrying a swagger stick." 

Many officers of General Thorat's Custodial Force India 
wore green turbans, and their troopers usually had their 
rifles slung over their shoulders, since, as Colonel Robinette 
remembers, "often both hands were needed to handle balky 
prisoners. Sometimes they carried lathis, which are three- 
quarters the length of a pick handle. All of us were impressed 
with the Indians* efficiency they seemed able to cope with 
any emergency. 

"The Swedes on the Neutral Nations Repatriation Com- 
mission wore a greyish uniform not unlike that of our Air 
Force. The Swiss color was close to it, and they wore jaunty 
overseas caps. The Communist Czechs and Poles were in 
olive drab, like our American uniforms but of a different cut, 
with gaudy shoulder boards and always toting briefcases. 

"Of the armies opposing us, the seediest were the North 
Koreans. They wore olive-drab coats but blue trousers with 
a red stripe, and their black boots were shabbier than those 
worn by the Chinese, Poles, and Czechs. Sometimes the 
Chinese sent observers into my explaining tent. They wore 
a cotton quilted uniform, a cloth cap with earflaps and a 
cloth visor, which would be worth about 30 American cents 
and long, padded coats which came almost to the knee. They 
were not impressive." 

In the explainers' compound were six urinals, each an oil 
drum sawed in half and partly screened by canvas. Colonel 
Robinette, a Virginian interested in Marxist etiquette, once 
noted "a Communist using the urinal and, with his free hand, 
gallantly tipping his hat to a passing Communist lady 


Explanations were held in two areas of 16 tents each, with 
holding pens for about 250 prisoners awaiting their turn. 

"On that first day we arrived shortly after dawn/* says 
Paul Garvey, "to find that the prisoners had refused to come 
out, and everything was held up. While we were not allowed 
in that area, we later found out from the Indians that Thi- 
mayya was coaxing the Chinese hanchos telling them that if 
they were as strongly anti-Communist as they said, they 
should go in and make this clear to the explainers. Finally he 
had to bring several truckloads of hanchos over, so that they 
could case the area for themselves, see that there was no 
great body of Communist troops nearby who might kidnap 
them only Indians who would protect them. Then they 
could go back and tell the other prisoners it was safe to come 

"Here, at last, they came, in a huge truck convoy. It was 
a bright, crisp day, and they were yelling and chanting 'Hui 
Taiwan! [To Formosa!]/ For them it was like a football yell. 
One prisoner in his explanation repeated it 2,000 times. It 
was the only thing he said, but he yelled it angrily, trying 
to drown out the explainer." 

From the holding pens they went in file to the 16 explana- 
tion tents, each escorted by an Indian trooper. "It was," says 
Paul Garvey, "like trying to watch 16 plays, all going at once. 

"For weeks we had been waiting for the curtain to rise on 
this great drama. What we now saw was the same little play, 
repeated over and over, without variation in the cast except 
for the prisoner. When a new one entered the tent, what 
would he do? 

"As he came in, the three Communist explainers would 
always stand, bow, and smile. Almost always the prisoner 
would spit at them, curse them, and, on this first morning, 
immediately leave. The explainer would, with his coat cuff, 
wipe the spit off his face, and pull his expression back to 


normal. The next prisoner would enter. The three explainers 
would stand, bow, and smile and that was where I came in. 
Short, brief interviews most of them, and they lasted most 
of the day. 

"In theory a lot of pressure could have been put on those 
prisoners back in their camp. But, once in the explaining 
tent, each man could see he was truly free. And that is what 
they did. 

"While we reporters were almost as shocked by the vio- 
lence as the Communist explainers, these were, in addition, 
deeply humiliated. Their suffering from this was plain for us 
to see. 

"When I stepped outside, walking among those tents you 
could hear 16 prisoners shouting at oncemuffled voices 
coming through the tent walls. Also, when a Chinese wants 
to make a point he stamps. You could hear their heavy GI 
boots coming down on the planking, like timpani. 

"It was as though each felt he now had a chance to speak 
for all of China at last to tell the Communists what he 
thought of them. It was eerie. To a mind of the Western 
World, so much hate was frightening." 

On both sides of this struggle, the lines were well re- 
hearsed. According to Colonel Robinette, after the Commu- 
nist explainers had bowed and smiled, they then went into 
a stereotyped routine both to Chinese and later to Korean 
prisoners, which made four main points: 

(1) If you come back, all previous political sins will be 
forgiven you. 

(2) We soon will rule all Asia, so best come over to the 
winning side. 

(3) Back in your homeland, we are building a wonderful 
new way of life. 

(4) Please come home, for the motherland needs her sons. 


Following this (according to Communist schedule), there 
would be a pause to let the prisoner ask any questions. These 
having been answered then, in the early explaining days 
the Indians would tell the prisoner that, since he had now 
been informed about his homeland, particularly of "your 
full right to return to a peaceful life," so then, "if you wish 
to be repatriated, leave by this [gesture] door: if you do not 
wish to be repatriated, leave by that [ gesture] ." 

"This Indian spiel," says Paul Garvey, "was very confusing 
to the prisoners. Because in its Chinese translation 'to be 
repatriated* was rendered as 'to go home/ And to most of the 
Chinese, Tiome* had come to mean Taiwan. 

"Occasionally a prisoner who had been very violent to the 
Communist explainers would, after all this garbled talk from 
the Indians, start out the wrong door. Once a UN Chinese 
observer stood up and shouted to such a man that it was the 
wrong door, just before he stepped through it he wheeled 
about and jumped through the other. There was some nom- 
inal protest by the Czechs and Poles at this intervention, but 
by then he had passed through the Taiwan door and could 
not be dragged back. But there had been no doubt even in 
the minds of the Czechs and Poles but that this was what 
he had really wanted. 

"After the first few days, word spread among the prisoners 
that the door to freedom was the door by which the man 
had entered. The other led to Red China or North Korea. 

"In the beginning the prisoners were given light folding 
chairs to sit on just opposite the small green field table the 
Communist explainers used until one prisoner came in, 
picked up the chair, and sent it crashing through the air 
toward the explaining team, who terrified flattened them- 
selves against the tent wall. After this, heavy benches were 

"As it sailed through the air, the prisoner had also cursed 


the explainers, calling them filthy turtle eggs, which is the 
most derogatory and insulting expression in the Chinese lan- 
guage, by comparison with which our American *son of a 
bitch* is pale and colorless. For in the Chinese hierarchy of 
creation, the turtle is the lowest of creatures." 

In one of the Chinese compounds on Cheju-do they had 
a display of sculpture by native artists. One was a figure of 
Stalin, rigged up with a rubber hose so that, when water was 
poured in by a funnel, the old gentleman was depicted as 
smiling complacently under his moustache while urinating 
on a small crouching figure which represented captive China. 
But their masterpiece they insisted was one showing Stalin 
with a turtle riding piggyback on his shoulders Stalin, they 
gleefully explained, was even lower than a turtle! 

"Some prisoners," says Paul Garvey, "while shouting and 
kicking, would break into tears of anger and hate. I was sit- 
ting behind a Chinese-speaking observer, who gave me a 
running translation of what was going on." 

When the explainer came to the passage "we are here to 
welcome you back to the arms of the people of China" one 
prisoner screamed: 

"What people of China? The Russians have made all of 
you their slaves!" 

"your parents and your future await you." 

"My parents are dead, and there is no future for me with 

Paul Garvey remembers that one prisoner sat silent while 
the explainer wheedled, until at last they came to that point 
in their litany: 

" 'Come back to your homeland you can get a job in the 
fatherland you can go to school your father and mother 
are ready to welcome you home* 

" at which the silent prisoner, glaring in cold fury, stood 
up and said, in a low voice between clenched teeth, 


" 1 watched you kill my father and mother/ 

"They didn't bother any more with him. On that first day 
when it was clear that a prisoner did not want to go back, 
the explainers did not try to hold him." So explanations 
lasted only from one minute to a maximum of fifteen. 

"Often as prisoners were being led away, a man would 
turn and, over his shoulder, scream back at the explainers 
a few more purple insults which in the tent had slipped his 

Of the 491 prisoners explained to on that first day, all 
but 10 had gone out through the door to Taiwan. Of these 
10, only four had paused for any length of time to hear the 
explanations. The other six had immediately walked over to 
greet the Communist explainers warmly, often had spat at 
die UN representative, and then had darted through the 
door to Red China as all the Communists in the tent cheered. 

Later, when Captain-Interpreter Lee Chun Bong defected 
to our side, he confirmed our guesses. For of those ten, six 
had been secret Communist agents. Of the total 491, the 
explanations had changed the minds of only four which was 
disastrously under Communist expectations. 

So they had cabled to Peiping a resume of this calamity, 
and asking fresh orders. 

The real leader on the Communist side ( again from Lee 
Chun Bong) was not ornamental North Korean Lieutenant 
General Lee Sang Cho, its chairman. The actual boss was 
an inconspicuous Chinese ex-journalist named Chiao Mu 
without uniform, rank, or title. 

In this period at the explanations, Captain-Interpreter Lee 
Chun Bong was translating between powerful Chiao and 
Kim II (he understood no Chinese) and also interpreting 
explanations for Korean General Kim and for Chinese Col- 
onel Lee. 

Chiao knew it would take time for Peiping to digest their 


cable. To gain this, he now ordered his delegation to ask 
the next day for Korean prisoners from Compounds #34 and 
#48. As Chiao well knew, all Korean compounds were for 
the moment in hysterical rebellion against explanations. 

A message intercepted by the Indians as it was being 
passed between two Korean compounds gives the flavor of 
this hour. One fiery anti-Communist leader is assuring his 
men that "even the Neutral Nations are our enemies," which 
included "barbarous Indians." The prisoners had come here 
"not to hear the explanations, but to demonstrate our free 
will, according to the official notice of our President 7 * ( Syng- 
man Rhee), who "lias never told us to listen to explanations'* 
and, for that matter, "didn't approve the cease-fire, either." 

These anti-Communist Korean prisoners denounced the 
Neutral Nations as "the fellows who came to Korea to be 
faithful to the Armistice Agreement, which was not even 
approved by the Republic of Korea." On this line they stood 
firm, and it was to take weeks of Thimayya's tact to coax 
them into the tents. 

llie request for Koreans produced a crisis, as the Com- 
munist side had expected. But to Indian General Thorat, 
commander of CFI, it seemed no problem. He proposed 
sending his men into the two compounds to clear them tent 
by tent, but explained that if his men were attacked, 'Tie 
should have the Commission's authority to open fire." 

The Neutral Nations now squirmed painfully. Tentatively 
they assured Thorat he had been already told he could fire, 
either (1) to protect his men or (2) to prevent a mass out- 
break. But when Thorat now returned with an estimate that 
the compounds were "so tense and threatening'* that "a new 
situation had arisen,*' in which force would cause "about 300 
or 400 casualties,** they wobbled. 

A majority of the NNRC now proved to be as squeamish 
of responsibility for bloodshed as the pre-Boatner American 


commanders had been in their 1952 attempts at screening. 
In this early period the Panmunjom Communists had howled 
loudly at any use of force in our rebellious prison camps. 

Now, however, they were generously prepared to expend 
foaming oceans of blood, since anti-Communist corpuscles 
were involved. General Thorat, the NNRC Czechs and Poles 
felt, should go in shooting, since he '"had already been given 
clear directives"; he should not pester the Commission by 
asking it to "discuss steps of a purely military character." 

The Swiss and Swedes, however, felt that this "new situa- 
tion" called for a "new decision." They argued that "the 
letter and the spirit" both of their Terms of Reference from 
the Armistice Commission, and also of the Geneva Conven- 
tion, forbade using force. Before committing themselves to 
wholesale bloodshed, the Swede wanted to consult his gov- 
ernment, and the Swiss felt that Berne might pull him out 
entirely, thus breaking up the Commission. 

The Indians, in a procedure which was to become a pat- 
tern, now demonstrated that nation's genius for neutrality. 
Heartily they agreed with the Communists that, according 
to the Armistice Terms of Reference, "force could be used" 
and perhaps should be, since the prisoners* actions were "un- 
lawful." Having thus given the Communist side the rhetoric, 
India now moved to give her vote to the Free West, ruling 
that since, in a matter involving "heavy casualties," the deci- 
sion should be "unanimous," she could not join the Com- 
munists alone in a vote for force. So CFI suspended opera- 
tions, and gave up all attempts to root out the balky Koreans. 

The one method left was persuasion. But to this the 
Czechs and Poles strongly objected, arguing that the prison- 
ers* elected spokesmen were all "agents," who should not be 
dignified by recognition, and presenting the Commission 
with a list of 50 who should be segregated. 

On this point, however, India now voted with the Swiss 
and Swedes in assuming the leaders all were "bona fide 


prisoners." They could not drag off elected compound 
leaders just because their names "appeared on a list" sup- 
plied by the Communists, but only if any were found guilty 
of some offense. 

Back now to the lovers' quarrels of the Communist side, 
on which we may eavesdrop with the help of Captain- 
Interpreter Lee Chun Bong. Peiping had wired back that 
they must contrive to stop all explanations, since the previ- 
ous day's beating forecast a propaganda defeat before the 

But now the Kaesong Communists demurred. Civilian 
boss Chiao thought improved techniques used by the ex- 
plainers should get better results. His subordinate North 
Korean generals were sure their people would make a far 
better Communist showing than the Chinese. 

Peiping now answered that Chiao could go ahead if he 
liked, but responsibility for results lay on his shoulders. 

Chiao now assembled the explaining teams to rake them 
over the coals. The big roadblock, he said, was Formosa, 
which should be attacked directly. Chinese prisoners should 
be told that to join Chiang Kai-shek was suicide, since Com- 
munist banners soon would fly over Taiwan. 

At this even the Czechs and Poles (asked to sit in on this 
Communist rally) protested. It would be a threat, forbidden 
under their NNRC rules, at which the UN side would surely 
protest and be upheld. 

Chiao said it was the only way. He also lashed his explain- 
ers for giving up too quickly. If a prisoner showed any 
signs of wavering, they were to keep hammering for hours, 
if need be, on one man. 

When some explainers protested that even the Indians 
might complain, Chiao pointed out that under the rules they 
might talk as long as they liked. He ordered some objecting 
explainers to criticize themselves for their part in the previ- 


cms day's disaster. These (reports Captain Lee Chun Bong) 
were so angry they could eat no dinner. 

On the following morning (October 17th) the Communist 
side firmly demanded Koreans. As expected, they refused 
to come out. It took the NNRC until noon to persuade the 
Communists to take more willing Chinese from Compound 

To cope with the violence of the first day, the Indians now 
changed their methods. "Each prisoner," says Paul Garvey, 
"was brought in with an Indian trooper on either side. If 
he made a move if he even called the explainer a turtle 
egg the guards would grab his arms. Often the prisoners 
would try desperately to squirm away from the guards in 
order to attack the explainers." 

Sometimes they succeeded, with the result that one 
Chinese prisoner was able to kick a Chinese Communist 
observer in the stomach, and another failed by inches to 
connect with a roundhouse swing at a Communist explainer. 

These, now sweating profusely in their quilted uniforms, 
buttoned Lenin-style to the throat, would glance appre- 
hensively at American reporters. It was no spectacle which 
the Communist East wanted the Free World to see. 

Toward the end of the day the tension exploded into a 
roughhouse. "One prisoner," says Paul Garvey, "stood there 
for as I remember it more than three and a half hours, 
never uttering a word while the Communist explainers, 
working in relays, talked themselves hoarse." 

Air Force Captain Donald Sletter, the American Observer, 
later said he asked seven times that they be made to stop, 
but was overruled. Twice the prisoner moved to go through 
the Taiwan door, and then hesitated as the Communists 
shouted. To Sletter it was clear Taiwan was his real choice. 

But the Communists were waving and beckoning the con- 
fused man in the other direction. Inside the tent a diplomatic 
incident occurred. 


"As I heard it later," says Colonel Robinette, "it was 
alleged that some American in the tent had allegedly called 
an allegedly Polish observer an alleged son of a bitch. But 
that night over our beer, the camp wit asked who ever called 
that son of a bitch a Pole? For we were sure he was a Russian 
in Polish uniform." 

During the melee outside the tent, a Communist repre- 
sentative saw fit to kick a Chinese- American observer in the 
leg, which added to the confusion. 

The Commission now decided that the bewildered pris- 
oner who started all this should be segregated until it could 
find out what he really wanted, so he was thereupon whisked 
away in Lieutenant General Thimayya's car. 

Embedded in the Commission's report is one close-up, 
from this period, of life within the compounds, coining not 
from a Communist agent nor from an anti-Communist pris- 
oner, but from a simple man who wanted to go back to his 

THIMAYYA: We have one prisoner here who wishes to be 
interviewed by the NNRC. He is the same person who was 
removed by me from Tent #7. . . . 

PRISONER: I want to go back to my fatherland, the Chinese 
mainland . . . 

THIMAYYA: Ask him why he did not come out and say that 
he wanted to go home. 

PRISONER: There were people in my compound of whom I 
was afraid. 

POLISH MEMBER: Were they agents of Chiang Kai-shek? 
PRISONER: There are quite a number of people in the com- 
pound who do not like anyone going back home . . . 
CZECHOSLOVAK MEMBER: I should like to ask the prisoner if 
he has some knowledge of acts of- violence committed in the 
compounds against the prisoners . , . 


PRISONER: I have heard about acts of violence, but in my 
compound I have not seen any . . . 

CZECHOSLOVAK MEMBER: If a prisoner wishes to be repatri- 
ated, has he the possibility within the compound to express 
his wish? 

PRISONER: It is very difficult for anyone to say openly that 
they want to go home. Of course, there are prisoners who 
crossed the wires and went away. I know a number of per- 
sons in my own compound who have done that. But, they 
are afraid of expressing their desire openly . . . 
TBDMAYYA: Did he get any explanation from the compound 
leader as to how he was to behave . . . ? 
PRISONER: We were told that, when you go to the Explana- 
tions, don't say that you want to go to the mainland of China. 
If any expresses his wish to go there, they will loll him. 
POUSH MEMBER: Who are "they"? 

PRISONER: Other prisoners at the back of the Explanation 
compound. They said that if anybody wanted to go home, 
then they will create a confusion, make a noise, etc., get hold 
of hfm and kill him. 

THIMAYYA: Is there anyone in the camp who is not a pris- 

PRISONER: I have only heard that Chiang Kai-shek had sent a 
number of agents in the camps. I have not seen anybody 

Applying to the statement of this simple man the ancient 
Anglo-Saxon rules of evidence, which exclude all hearsay 
gossip, we learn that: 

(1) The vast majority of prisoners in his compound do 
not want repatriation. 

(2) An idle threat, impossible of execution, was made 
to him as to what might happen if he chose repatriation in 
the explanations, and yet 


(3) Of his own knowledge, he knows "a number of per- 
sons" who, wanting repatriation, simply "crossed the wires 
and went away." 

(4) In his own compound there has been no violence, 
nor has he ever seen a "Chiang Kai-shek agent," although 
both may exist elsewhere. 

By what mistake (or through whose cunning) did such a 
waverer get mixed in with the anti-Communist prisoners? 

Later questions brought the answer. He had not been 
captured until July 1952, after our principal screening. Ap- 
parently he was badly wounded and missed later screenings 
while in the hospital because, before he arrived in the 
Neutral Zone, "I was a sick POW and nobody asked me 

While no one should grudge this poor man his freedom 
to go home, the circumstances surrounding his exceptional 
case prove the general fairness of our screenings. 

Yet even with such waverers, the Communist score was 
not good. In two days of explanations given to 900 prisoners, 
according to our count, they had recovered only 20. But in 
their book, reports Captain Lee Chun Bong, it was worse. 
For 12 of the 20 had been agents now returning from duty. 
Hiey had actually converted only eight. 

Their alibi to the world came in a letter addressed by the 
Communist side to Thimayya on that date. Their failure 
was due solely to "the reign of terror of the secret agents 
of Chiang Kai-shek and Syngman Rhee." They complained 
that "reactionary elements of the Kuomintang" had dared 
come even inside the explanation tents "in the guise of 
interpreters"* and stormed that "this cannot be tolerated." 

But we had still other faults. Because "military aircraft of 

* Here they refer to the UN's Chinese-speaking interpreters, 
many of whom were native-born American citizens, and none was from 
Formosa. W. L. W. 


the UN," they charged, had been "constantly circling the 
area," and, presumably through the hum of these motors, 
the UN was able "to maintain their influence over the 

Having got a bloody nose from the Chinese, the Com- 
munist side asked the NNRC to produce Koreans on October 
18th and 19th. Knowing that none of the 7,900 would at 
this time come out, the Communists demanded that the 
NNRC use force, since difficulties came only from the "spe- 
cial agents of Chiang and Rhee" instigated by the Americans. 

We later learned they hoped that violence, if now used, 
would provoke a mass break-out. With prisoners scampering 
south, the Communists could shout the men had been kid- 
napped, and would be relieved of further embarrassing ex- 

But by now even the Indians were tired of the game. They 
had, before the world, a responsibility to see that all 22,604 
men got explanations. The 14,704 Chinese were willing to 
come. If the Communist side would only take whatever 
prisoners the NNRC could offer each day, the Koreans even- 
tually could be persuaded, no force would be needed, and, 
in what remained of the 90 days, all prisoners could easily 
be explained to. 

The Commission's majority view (Indians, Swiss, and 
Swedes), as set forth in its final report, was that it alone was 
the "final authority to approve the plans" for each day's ex- 
planations. It could reject any which was not feasible. 

So, backed by the Swiss and Swedes, Thimayya on Octo- 
ber 19th drafted a letter to the Communist side, asking 
Lieutenant General Lee Sang Cho to "continue explanations 
to the Chinese prisoners," which would give the NNRC 
"more time to finally induce the Korean prisoners to appear 
before the explainers/' 


Here was a showdown. Had this plan been put into exe- 
cution, the Communist filibuster (to avoid explanations) 
would have been ended. Without bloodshed, every prisoner 
would have got his explanation within the time limit. A 
majority of the Commission favored sending this stiff letter. 

The Communist side now took the only way to stop it. 
Just before the roll-call on this stiff letter, the Czechs and 
Poles, instead of voting against it (they knew they would 
have lost), rose and stalked out of the tent. 

This did it. Under the NNRC's rules, it could take no 
action unless all five members were present regardless of 
how they voted. 

Here was a turning point a Communist victory of enor- 
mous importance. Now they sat in the driver's seat. They 
could call up for explanations only the compounds they 
believed would give them victory. They could (and did) 
avoid, indefinitely or forever, facing those they feared. Or 
they could (and for weeks did) halt everything simply by 
demanding compounds they were sure would not come out. 

As for instance, Korean Compound #48, which now in a 
communique to Thimayya gave: 

, . . hearty thanks to the Indian Government and its soldiers, 
that make every effort for the sake of a lasting peace [and] 
treat us humanely, kindly, lovingly. . . . [And yet they firmly 
told him that] we saw with our own eyes that Communists 
deceived and deprived peaceful people of their property and 
butchered democrats. . . . [Wherefore,] We boycott explana- 
tions to the Death! 

Our future is to be decided by ourselves! 

Nobody can interfere! 

By insisting on such compounds, the Communist side 
seemed safe. 


Explanations Stalemate 

WHY did the Korean prisoners at this time refuse 
to come out? The NNRC blamed "The Republic of Korea, 
whose incursions made it impossible for the Commission 
to come to any other conclusion." For Indian guards had 
intercepted messages which pointed to a general headquar- 
ters for POW organizations "in Seoul, under the Provost 
Marshal of the Republic of Korea," and from there branching 
out to all the compounds. 

They found evidence that Korean nurses in the "64th 
US Field Hospital" (which served the prisoners) constituted 
the most significant link "in its communications system." 

Our American halo of self-righteousness was knocked 
slightly askew when Thimayya drily notified the UN Com- 
mand that CFI had intercepted a radio receiving set from 
a drum of yeast issued to "E" Enclosure (Chinese), which, 
according to its packing label, had been made by the "Silver 
Trading Co., Tokyo, Japan: Date Packed, 9/53" for original 
delivery to TF. Co., 1st Radio & Leaflet Group, 8239th 
Army United, APO 500." Thimayya, with sly wit peeping 
through his official restraint, suggested we prevent "further 
deliveries" of such gadgets, as they were "not the character 
of logistical support as provided for in the [Armistice Agree- 
ment] Terms of Reference . . ." 

From whatever source, the prisoners were well informed. 
One news bulletin captured by Custodial Force India was 
"from Anti-Communist Branch #43," addressed to "each team 
leader/' and brought news of those who, in Big Switch, had 


chosen repatriation: the "Reds who were so blindly bois- 
terous on Koje-do are still going to their death,** but "we 
must, however, feel sorrow' 7 for those who have abandoned 
"priceless freedom" because of their "single desire to see 
their wives and children." Because, "most of the more than 
70,000 are now confined in Chin Chou Province, Manchuria. 
. . . not one of them has returned home." 

Other intercepted notes carried orders. One "from the 
Branch" to "Teams 48, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54 & 55" sent instruc- 
tions pertaining to "the demonstration for this morning," 
which "will be carried out from 8 until 11." 

Meanwhile General Thimayya was working on the balk- 
ing Korean compounds. In order to help soften them, he 
brought their hanchos together with those from Chinese 
compounds which had already gone through explanations. 
These could tell the jittery Koreans that they had nothing 
to fear that instead it would be an opportunity to defy the 
Communists to show that if they only went through the 
tents, perhaps they could even beat the Chinese score in this 
matter of defectors from their ranks. 

There was, however, a difficult language barrier. In these 
negotiations Thimayya could not use interpreters provided 
either by the Communists or the United Nations Command, 
and prisoners who could speak both Chinese and Korean 
were not fluent. But slowly the idea began to penetrate, and 
presently he began getting from the balking Korean leaders 
hints that perhaps they would soon give him an answer. 

And on October 27th the Indian guards intercepted, out- 
side a Korean compound, this significant message, presum- 
ably intended for anti-Communist organizations outside the 
area perhaps in Seoul: 

We, the Anti-Communist Youths . . . are able to decide 
the future for ourselves, because we love peace and liberty 


... we have made the Reds understand that arms and 
threats will not force us to attend the explanations. . . . That 
is because we want to attend the explanations voluntarily. 

Now if, yielding to Thimayya's skillful coaxing, the Koreans 
went to explanations, this would be a violent reversal of 
orders which the Communist side charged the prisoners 
were getting daily from Seoul. 

Next comes a message grabbed by Indian guards as it 
was being tossed from a Korean compound to a Korean 
nurse from UN Field Hospital #64, who would have passed 
it on to Seoul. 

The prisoners here are telling their Seoul leaders that "as 
to whether the explanations should be attended," that had 
already been decided by "all the Anti-Communist Youths": 
Seoul was told to stay out of the prisoners' "internal diffi- 
culties" because "the higher level" could not possibly under- 
stand "the actual situation," which was that "we all have 
decided that we should attend the explanations," and as for 
Seoul's advice, "although we expect support from the Out- 
side, yet all problems should be solved by ourselves." 

Already North Korean Compound #35 had told Thimayya 
that they would appear for explanations. 

Explanations The North Koreans 

ON the last day of October the Communists finally 
got the Koreans for whom they had been asking. * 

"Each prisoner would be brought in by guards," says 
Colonel Robinette, "in half the cases dragged in kicking, 


biting, and flailing his arms. This first compound manufac- 
tured masks to avoid identification by the Communists. The 
Pole of course objected to this, but was overruled by the 
Indian chairman they could come nude or in suits of armor, 
as they pleased. But the Indian guard usually would handle 
the prisoner so that his mask would fall off. 

"Often the press of both sides was in my tent, but generally 
they were roaming the area looking for violence, which was 
easy to find, because every quarter-hour or so a prisoner 
would throw a chair, upset the explainer's table or start 
chanting or reciting poetry at the top of his lungs. 

"Presently they brought in a particularly violent prisoner- 
it took two guards to hold him down on his heavy bench. 
Gradually he seemed to relax. When he could see that his 
guards had done likewise, quick as a cat he was up, grabbed 
his bench, and had sent it sailing through the air at the 

"Naturally the Pole protested. So, maybe to accommodate 
him, the prisoner began to spit at the explainer. We quickly 
saw he was no mere gentleman amateur spatter, but a profes- 
sional. For he began digging up solid hunks of phlegm, and 
aiming them well. 

"But the Pole, who seemed hard to please, also objected 
to this, and wanted the man court-martialed. 

"So I, as the American representative, asked if it wasn't 
true that the prisoner had just been promised that if he 
returned to Communism, he would get no punishment? 

"They said it was. 

"So then I asked that if the man did go back, would he 
be court-martialed as the Pole was now demanding? 

"The Pole said no, he would not. But he demanded that 
he be court-martialed now, while still in the hands of the 
Indians. It was all very confusing. 

the Indians ruled out spitting and throwing 


benches at the explainers, they allowed the prisoners to call 
them any names they could think up, and the one most 
frequently used is a Korean litany which goes: 

Your father is a man of no brains 
Your mother, a woman of no shame- 
And you are a fat slob! 7 * 

Many interviews lasted only a minute. By closing time 
at dusk 459 Koreans had gone through, but only 21 (less 
than 5%) had chosen repatriation. Chiao, bitterly disap- 
pointed, now moved to change tactics. 

The next day the Communists asked permission to broad- 
cast explanations to all compounds. This seemed reasonable, 
but the Indians pointed out they did not have enough troop- 
ers both to keep order in the explaining tent and to prevent 
the mass break-out which those broadcasts might provoke. 

It was settled that broadcasts would be given only to those 
small pens holding prisoners for that day's explanations, 
which, on November 3rd, was to be North Korean Com- 
pound #48. 

After some delay in setting up their public-address system, 
the Communists put on the air a North Korean lady and a 
smartly uniformed colonel, who explained that only a few 
days before he had defected from a prison compound. Both 
told the prisoners they had nothing to fear if they came 

During the lady's appeal, the prisoners only sang to drown 
her voice. But when the colonel began, they gathered around 
the compound posts and, pushing and pulling as a team, 
began to rock them loose. 

When the Indians came running, the prisoners paused to 
explain they had no thought of trying to escape. They in- 
tended only to flatten the fence and tear that broadcasting 
truck and amplifier into pieces long enough to bash in the 


head of that traitorous colonel who had deserted them. I 
the Indians only kept a safe distance neither they nor the 
lady Communist would be touched. It took all the Indians* 
tact to quench this project so that the broadcast could 

This over, Korean Compound #48 took the explanations 
in its stride. One, sitting quietly to allay the suspicions of his 
guards, suddenly let fly with a rock. Another listened in- 
tently, seemingly with rising interest, and Communist hopes 
soared. He let them woo him for an hour moonlight and 
roses about the wonderful life ahead for him in the Com- 
munist North and then: 

"You have wasted your timer And, grinning, he stepped 
through the door to South Korea. 

Another captive (by rank a major) tried earnestly to con- 
vert his converters. "Come South with us!" he teased them, 
until the explainer, weary after an hour of being "explained 
to," ordered the Indian guards to push him through the 
door to South Korea. Yet the Communists remembered this 
major, and presently were to order their North Camp pris- 
oners to copy his tactics. 

Most explanations were a series of open threats: "This is 
your final chance! If you do not come back, we will get you 
when we make war again. When we do and surely we will- 
again we will win! And we will come after you!" 

Sitting in such a tent as an American representative, 
Colonel Robinette "watched tfiese poor prisoners fighting it 
seemed to them that everyone in the tent was against them, 
because we could not speak up. They would spring to their 
feet, raise their hands, scream how strongly they felt against 
Communism it was like listening to a series of Patrick 
Henrys, each shouting for liberty or death." 

After the opening, American reporters say the explainers 
would vary their tactics to the prisoner. Mild men would get 


a '"brotherly touch," while the more fiery ones would be 
explained to in kind. Typically it might be: 

EXPLAINER: Welcome, Comrade! 

PRISONER: You say "Comrade" but I am your enemy. 

EXPLAINER: Even though the prisoner before you wore this 

[the South Korean orange-and-black headband] he still went 

back home. 

PRISONER: I will never go back. 

EXPLAINER: We won't harm you, even though you have said 

you want to go to South Korea. So why don't you decide to 

come home? 

PRISONER: I am a man. I have made up my mind. 

EXPLAINER: Land, jobs, and a good education await you. 

Your family and your friends also await you. 

PRISONER: My family has already been killed by you. 

EXPLAINER: You shouldn't be so sure about South Korea. You 

say you will be free, but you will find none will welcome you. 

PRISONER: You say North Korea is free? What is free there? 

Religion? Politics? I know when I was there I was never free. 

Toward the end of the day the talks grew shorter. Re- 
porters noted that the few who did choose Communism 
scampered through the Red door instantly clearly they 
were hidden agents, or men who had known what they 
wanted before they entered the tent. 

As for those equally positive on the other side, the ex- 
plainers, seeing there was no hope, either would dismiss 
them or the Indian chairmen would cut off the interview. 

Paul Garvey reports that casualties were light only one 
explainer was bitten by a prisoner. By closing time, of North 
Korean Compound #48 ? s total of 499 members, 483 had gone 
to the explaining mill, but only 19 (it was about 4%) chose 

From the Communist standpoint it could hardly be worse. 


So Chiao decided on a complete shift in tactics, and also 
played his ace in trumps by asking the Indians to bring him 
for the next day (November 4th) Chinese Compound #28, 
the Murder Mystery Compound! 

Explanations Corpus Delicti 

FOR days the Communist side had been pressing 
the Indians to avenge the alleged barbarous butchery of one 
Chang Tsu-lung in Chinese Compound #28. The trouble was 
that, outside the affidavits of defecting Communist agents, 
the Indians could not find one trace of evidence that such a 
man had ever existed. 

This name was not on the UN roster at the time we 
turned the prisoners over to the Indians. Nor could the 
Indians find any such name on their records of Compound 

Yet two Communist agents Chein Sung-kuei and 
Hseuh-ho defecting from this compound swore that there 
had been such a man a loyal Communist most piteously 
done in, and in execution of orders issued by the Americans. 

As their story went, Chang Tsu-lung, on the occasion of a 
recent demonstration in Compound #28, had refused to wave 
the Nationalist flag offered him, and also refused to insult 
Mao Tse-tung. "Instead he had shouted, 'Long live Chair- 
man Mao!*" this in a passionately anti-Communist com- 

Was Chang Tsu-lung insane as well as nonexistent? But 
never mind, let us hear more. 

The agents insisted that after nightfall he was "strung up 


on a tent pole with his hands and feet bound" and beaten 
so hard that "several times the tent poles were broken with 
the force of the blows/' he meanwhile egging his torturers 
on with still more furious cries of "Long live Chairman Mao- 
Long live the Communist Party!" Shortly thereafter the anti- 
Communists "poured petrol over his cotton shorts, which 
burst into flames," and subsequently "a long nail was then 
driven into the top of his skull," and then, "one great 
convulsive shudder, and he was dead/ 7 Thereupon, "his 
intestines, liver, kidneys, and heart were pulled out." 

Of these dainties, "one half was cooked and eaten on 
the spot" by anti-Communist Chinese, faithfully following 
their American directives. The other half "was sent to the 
compound kitchen" to be prepared for future midnight 

The gnawed remains of the hypothetical Chang Tsu-lung 
were then "buried deep underground in the corner of Third 
Co. Headquarters" in Compound #28. 

Understandably perturbed by the violent Communist 
prose in these affidavits, the Indians took a party of Allied 
and Communist newspapermen, plus the two defecting 
"agents" to Compound #28, which they were able to enter 
after a small riot, during which one anti-Communist was 
shot by the Indian guards. The agents now led them to Third 
Company Headquarters, pointed to the corner, and digging 
began. But several hours of it not only failed to produce a 
single gnawed bone of the nonexistent Chang Tsu-lung, but 
also made clear to the reporters that the soil had not been 
disturbed since the last Ice Age. 

Lieutenant General Lee Sang Clio's protests increased. 
Even though there was no trace of Chang Tsu-lung, there 
had been a murder (said two Communist, "witnesses"), so 
there must be vengeance. 


Accordingly the Indians now lined up Compound #28 so 
that the "witnesses" could identify 10 other "witnesses'* 
( these were hidden Communist agents, now being recalled 
from duty), plus seven "murderers" (they were Compound 
#28 ? s elected anti-Communist leaders). 

This last achieved Chiao's over-all purpose. With these 
"terrorists of Bandit Chiang" removed, Compound #28 
should be ripe for the harvest. But the 10 witnesses now 
changed their story. They said the deeply buried body had 
been dug up (from that undisturbed clay) and burned with- 
out a trace. 

But meanwhil the Communists had demanded that lead- 
erless Compound #28 appear for explanations on November 
4th. Instantly Chiao's new tactics became obvious. 

"They would take as long as five hours to explain to one 
man," says Colonel Robinette. "It was clear to all of us that 
they could not explain to everybody at that rate." 

In one tent, reporters noted that, as the prisoner got 
weary, the explainers got more hypnotically repetitious* 

"Why don't you want to go back?" they would chant, over 
and over, until one explainer got hoarse, whereupon the 
explainer next him would take over. After two hours of this 
the prisoner would start "losing control," might "scream back 
answers" and then sag in his spirits, and "turn his eyes 
imploringly to the five NNRC members, begging to be taken 
away. 9 * 

In one tent the Swiss walked out in protest after the 
Communist explainer had been torturing such an unwilling 
prisoner for more than an hour. At closing time, of leaderless 
Compound #28's remaining 463 inmates, only 203 had been 
explained to in those 16 tents, and the Commtuiists had 
squeezed out only two repatriates percentage-wise their 


lowest yet, and from exactly that purged compound from 
which Chiao had expected most. 

Because of this slowdown, the "unexplained" remainder 
of Compound #28260 men had to be returned and mixed 
with those 201 who rejected repatriation: pens were lacking 
to keep them separate. This was presently to make trouble, 
as the Communists foresaw. 

We have it from Captain-Interpreter Lee Chun Bong that 
Chiao was now in a frenzy. He could not halt explanations 
without losing face before the world. It was clear even to the 
Communists that the prisoners had made a firm choice 
against return. 

But, lashing at his explaining teams, at the end of every 
session Chiao would shout that they had caused Communism 
to lose face before all mankind. He fired four North Korean 
and three Chinese explainers for lack of zeal. He told the 
others it was their task to free these soldiers who hung 
back only because they lived in a hell of terror. But when 
alone, the explainers joked about this "terror." 

Still another hope remained. According to General Harri- 
son's 180-day calendar, 90 days had been set aside for ex- 
planations, so there could be none after midnight of Decem- 
ber 23rd. 

Already the Communists had wasted most of their time. 
Explanations were dragging. But General Lee Sang Cho 
was insisting that toward their total of 90 days only those 
five should be counted on which the Communist side so 
far had actually explained. 

The strategy was clear. What with the greatly increased 
time per man, explanations could be spun out for endless 
months. The anti-Communist prisoners would find their 180- 
day calendars had been junked. Feeling the UN's promise 
to them had been broken, and fearing that the Communists 
were now free to harass them indefinitely, the prisoners 
might break down and return. 


Lieutenant General Lee's argument lacked even the 
faintest legal base in the Armistice Agreement text. And, 
however irksome the antics of the prisoners, the NNRC knew 
that responsibility for delay was squarely on the Communist 
side; so the NNRC tactfully but firmly rejected Lee's argu- 

Clearly the only Communist hope lay in the slowdown, 
so next day (November 5th) it was imposed on Chinese 
Compound #22, which marched quietly to the explaining 
area, saving its strength for the ordeal. 

For this day William Jorden, reporting the session for the 
New York Times, gives this composite dialogue: 

We want you to come home. Don't you know your father, 
mother, wife and children are waiting for you? 

You Communist dog, I have a family waiting for me, but 
in spite of that I will not come home until you Communist 
beasts are killed. You dirty murderers aren't you ashamed 
to come here the blood is still on your hands! 

Don't you know we are building a new country now? In 
China there is no unemployment. 

You turtle-egg! I myself was unemployed for ten months 
in Peking. 

Yes, but things are better organized now. We are putting 
the principles of Lenin and Mara to work 

Don't talk to me about Lenin and Marx, you Communist 
dog! I know more about them than you will ever know, for 
I was a higher-ranking officer than you will ever be! 

I can see you are a man of some education. We need men 
like you to help build our coumry. If you go to Formosa, we 
will liberate that island soon. Then where will you be? 

You Communist dog, if the neutrals were not here I would 
tear you to pieces! 


However, because the explainers can work on him in re- 
lays, after an hour or so of this the prisoner loses his voice 
from shouting, and finally, turning to the five neutrals, says 

"Please protect me! Stop the explanation. I want to go to 

"This is getting to be absurd," Thimayya exploded to re- 
porters. "It's got to stop some place." And, stalking into six 
tents where explanations had been going on for about an 
hour and a half, he ordered a recess for the protection of the 

It was a day of clashes. In one tent, a tortured prisoner put 
his fingers to his ears. The Communist explainers insisted 
that the Indian guards pull them out. But the five neutrals- 
even the Czechs and Poles agreeing balked at this, so the 
explainers walked out in a huff. 

Meanwhile, reporter Robert Alden for the New York Times 
was shrewdly noting that during the explanations, the Indian 
troopers "are the only ones who give the prisoner any com- 
fort during his ordeal. Many times, even in the midst of 
struggling, guards pat the prisoner reassuringly on the back, 
as if to tell him that all will be over soon." 

By the day's end, out of Chinese Compound #22*s 485, 
the Communists had explained to only 156, from which they 
had extracted only two converts. Again this "unexplained" 
portion had to be mixed in with those who had not wavered. 
In the cumulative score to date, explanations had netted the 
Communists only 62 prisoners, while almost 2,200 had re- 
jected repatriation. 

Captain-Interpreter Lee Chun Bong later told us that on 
this night Peiping furiously|accused Chiao of continuing ex- 
planations in spite of instructions demanding that he as- 
sume "full responsibility for failure.** 


Explanations Stalling for Time 

WITH this frightening cable in his hands, Chiao's 
problem now was to halt explanations, but in such a way as 
to put all blame on the prisoners. It was easy. For the fol- 
lowing day (November 6th) he had intended to shift to 
North Koreans, and had asked the Indians to produce them. 

He now rousted Thimayya out of bed to demand instead 
those 329 remaining Chinese from yesterday's Compound 
#22 who had not received explanations due to the slowdown 
exactly those and no others. 

They had, of course, been mixed in with those who had, 
before the explainers, rejected repatriation. But how to sort 
them out? The prisoners, furious at the slowdown, would 
not cooperate. The Indian troopers could not tell one 
Chinese face from another, and Thimayya and his officers 
spent all morning talking with Compound #22*s hanchos, 
vainly trying to get them to undertake the task. 

The Swiss were by now almost as indignant as the Chi- 
nese hanchos, pointing out that the Communist "slowdown" 
was senselessly hard on the prisoners, a violation of the 
Geneva Convention, and at least of the spirit of the Armistice 

Even Lieutenant General Thimayya told reporters that in 
his opinion no session should be allowed to go more than 
two hours, as they were extremely wearing on the prisoners, 
and furthermore useless since most prisoners clearly knew 
what they wanted before they entered the tents"! haven't 


seen but three or four men who were actually converted by 
the explainers." 

There remained almost 20,000 prisoners who had not been 
through the tents, most of them eager to attend explanations 
for the pleasure of shouting at the Communists. Day after 
day, however, General Lee put in his demand only for those 
two tiny "unexplained" tag ends of compounds, and would 
accept no others. 

Meanwhile, a campaign of note-writing. Thimayya, anx- 
ious to get on with the work, pointed out to the Communists 
that "on the first two days [in mid-October], complete com- 
pounds were explained to," but "now it appears you have 
considerably slowed down . . ." 

He pointed out that the unexplained tag ends could not 
be segregated because "there were no spare compounds" and 
even if there were, "Custodial Force India lacks the men to 
guard more." 

Thimayya now offered to build one extra compound, pro- 
vided the Communists agreed to finish each compound be- 
fore they asked for another. 

But at this point the Chinese prisoners entered in, for 
Thimayya's offer did not take care of the Communist slow- 
down. The men refused to come out if, at each day's end, 
such leftovers were to be segregated. As the Swiss and 
Swedes were presently to point out, explanations which 
"were prolonged up to five hours per man" were "considered 
by the prisoners undue pressure." 

But this only angered the Communists, who now flatly 
announced that "the length of time . . . shall be decided upon 
exclusively by ... our side." 

On November 16th, however, the Communists decided on 
a final try. Lieutenant General Lee Sang Cho, himself a 
North Korean, had been getting from defecting agents hope- 
ful reports on Korean Compound #53, which he now called 


up. These, however, were braced for the "slowdown." They 
arrived quietly but seemed in high spirits. During the 
long sessions, instead of wasting their strength by storming 
at the Communists, most sat back silently and let the ex- 
plainers talk themselves hoarse. Now and then a prisoner 
would rise to refer to his explainer as a "running dog of 
Communism" and then relax to drift with the verbal tide. 

One quiet, attentive prisoner roused Communist hopes 
and, after a two-hour travelogue lecture on the beauties of 
North Korea, the explainer produced a photograph of an- 
other repatriated North Korean, now happy in the bosom of 
his family, 

"May I see it more closely?" asked the prisoner, plaintively. 
Communist hopes soared. Quietly the prisoner put it in his 

"But what are you doing?" 

"I want to study it more carefully when I return to South 

Due to these tactics, the prisoners remained fresh while 
the explainers knocked themselves out. At the end of the 
day, of Korean Compound #53's total 498, only 227 had 
gone through the tents, of whom only six chose repatriation 
again a ruinously low percentage. 

The Communists were desperate and divided in their 
opinions. For the following day they had asked for Chinese, 
but Chiao, fearing another world humiliation and stinging 
rebuke from Peiping, could not face it. At 3:30 in the morn- 
ing he roused the slumbering Indians to inform them that 
they wanted no more Chinese insisted on that unexplained 
tag end of North Korean Compound #53. 

Once more that unexplained tag end (this time North 
Koreans), who, mixed in with the others, now predictably 
refused to come out. Again the Communist side insisted 
(day after day) on these 271 North Koreans and no others. 


Now Thimayya, with the backing of the Swiss and Swedes, 
composed a stiff letter to the Communists. He reminded 
them that "in the early days of explanatory work, your rep- 
resentatives, within a period of about four hours, were able 
to explain to approximately 500 prisoners. Since then, in 
spite of an improvement in the behavior of the prisoners, 
titie duration of your explanations has, on the contrary, 
steadily increased." 

There was still time, in the 37 days which remained, to 
bring them "all prisoners by complete compounds for ex- 
planations each day/ 3 Thus, all could be explained to, 

Flatly the Communists refused and, on each of those re- 
maining days, went through the stately formality of asking 
Thimayya for that particular half compound of 271 Koreans 
they knew would refuse to come out. 

Explanations The North Camp 

MEANWHILE, the UN turned to its own small head- 
achethose 335 South Koreans, one Briton, and 23 Ameri- 
cans in Communist hands who had said they did not want 
to go back to the Free World. They were housed in North 
Camp of the Neutral Zone, where the Communists had 
hastily swept out the tiny village of Songgong-nt 

This North Camp had, however, a few waverers. When 
Corporal Edward S. Dickinson on October 20th told the 
Indians he wanted repatriation, the list of American de- 
fectors was cut to 22, 

On December 1st the UN Command told the Neutral 
Nations Repatriation Commission it would be ready to ex- 


plain the following day, and asked for 30 Koreans. Republic 
of Korea explainers then began a sober appeal, but failed 
to gain even one of these orderly but unyielding Com- 

On December llth came a shift in prisoner strategy. 
At this point 255 South Koreans had got explanations. Not 
one had weakened, but acting under perfect discipline, these 
prisoners began a filibuster of their own. 

Down in South Camp, the anti-Communist prisoners had 
been objecting to long explanations. So now, up in North 
Camp, these pro-Communist prisoners began insisting on 
them. When UN explainers tried to break off and send them 
back to Communism the Indians had to drag them from the 
room by force. 

Whereupon in a letter to Thimayya the prisoners repre- 
sented themselves as "genuinely educated Korean youth and 
peace-loving citizens of the world" who felt that "in the ex- 
planations we have a right to raise questions It has been 

a long time since we were in South Korea , . .* 

The UN, however, seeing they were convinced Com- 
munists, had been in no mood to frolic with them. "Why," 
these Communists now mourned, "should the NNRC force 
us out" (of the explaining tents and back to the Communist 
side) "without even asking us which we would choose?" 
The explainers, they charged, had "only carried on vile 
slanders, insults, intimidations of the vilest and most dextrous 
means/* and the prisoners had been "dragged out by CFI 
before we had time to state our attitude!" 

So now, protesting this "injustice," the North Camp 
Koreans went on strike, refusing to attend explanations. 

Obediently the 22 foolish Americans and the lone Briton 
in North Camp now mouthed the shrill dialogue and went 
through the stiff gestures required by this strange Com- 
munist Morality Play. 


They too sent Thimayya a letter (in English, but in 
Communist jargon ) questioning "the nature and intentions" 
of "the United States and Great Britain," which were to put 
"pressure on their lackey, Syngman Rhee," to drop explana- 
tions to the South Koreans, so the explainers "may get at us, 
the American and British prisoners not desiring repatriation." 
Their Korean brothers, these Anglo-Saxon Communists in- 
sisted, "demand and welcome explanations. Therefore, we 
demand they be explained to"; and, until this was done, the 
Anglo-American traitors said they, too, would refuse to come 

We left it at that. 

For each of the two remaining weeks of explanations, the 
UN put in a daily request for any prisoners of whatever 
nationality the Indians could produce. None would budge, 
unless promised unlimited time to "explain to the explainers." 

Answering their letters, Thimayya was "sure you will 
agree'* that die right to explain belongs, not to prisoners, but 
"to the side conducting explanations." 

The End of Explanations 

TIME was running out. But on December 20th the 
Communist side startled everyone by asking that Chinese 
Compound #3 appear the next day. To the further general 
amazement, this compound agreed to come out. 

Both puzzles were solved, for #3 turned out to be bursting 
at the seams with Communist agents. Of the 482 explained 
to, 56, or almost 12%, asked repatriation the best Communist 
showing of the explanations. 


On the final explaining day, 250 men from Chinese Com- 
pound #4 also agreed to come out, but the yield was only 11 
not 5%. 

Meanwhile, on this terminal day, the UN was making its 
last gesture toward its prisoners in the North Campusing 
loud-speakers beamed into their tiny compound. 

According to Colonel Robinette, "a good friend of mine, 
Major Edward Moorer, of the UN Command explainer 
group, made the broadcast to the American defectors, tell- 
ing them that Indian guards are present to insure your 
safety we are personally here to receive any who desire to 
return/ He could see the Americans outside their huts. 
There were plenty of Indian troopers standing around anx- 
ious to received them." But they all locked arms with the pro- 
Communist South Koreans, singing and stamping in a wild 
folk dance and the British Marine, Andrew Condron, pranced 
with them. 

Being in no great need of any further supply of disloyal 
citizens, we did not beg them to come back. All stood firm for 
Communism. We get one last sad glimpse of them through 
Captain-Interpreter Lee Chun Bong, who chronicles a meet- 
ing of the "agit-prop section" called by Chiao that evening, 
to make sure that, in the North Camp, his orders had been 
carried out. 

They could report success. Though after the UN broad- 
cast that final call to come home some of the Americans, 
retreating to their tents, had sobbed, with their faces buried 
in their knees. 

But because not one had left, Chiao was delighted. "To- 
day," he told the agit-prop section, "we have recovered all 
the face we had lost to the United Nations side!" 

Now came tie final score on explanations. Of the 22,604 
presumably anti-Communist prisoners delivered that sum- 


mer by the United Nations, explanations liad been given to 
3,190 prisoners, in 10 of the South Camp's 50 compounds. 

Of these, 137 (just over 4%) after hearing explanations, 
asked repatriation. However, from the same 10 compounds, 
an almost equal number had gone to the Indian guards ask- 
ing repatriation bringing the repatriations from these 10 "ex- 
plained" compounds up to 275, which was 8.6% of their total. 

In addition, from the 40 "unexplained" compounds, 94 
prisoners had asked the Indian guards for repatriation. 

Of the 10 compounds the Communists chose, they made 
their best showing in Chinese B-3, where, out of 482 men, 
they harvested 62 repatriates. 

But consider the worst two of those carefully chosen ten. 
Compounds D-31 and D-33 held 930 men, of whom 921 got 
explanations, from which they converted to repatriation only 
21 barely 2.25% of the total. 

Applying this percentage to the 40 "unexplained" com- 
pounds, we find that, had all 22,604 prisoners gone through 
the tents, the Communists might then have gotten 711 con- 
verts to repatriation. By choosing only the 10 compounds in 
which they knew they were strongest, they had, as of Christ- 
mas Eve, only 369. This would seem to leave in the com- 
pounds a possible balance of 342 waverers who might have 
turned back to Communism, had they gone through the 

Yet a score of only 711 repatriates would have been a 
world disaster for Communism. It would then have been 
beyond dispute that almost 22,000 other prisoners from their 
armies after explanations had refused to return. 

From the Communist standpoint, it was far better to sacri- 
fice these thoretical 342 waverers. For it now allowed Lieu- 
tenant General Lee to roar, for the benefit of the Communist 
and neutralist worlds, that "more than 85% of the captured 
personnel of our side,* loyal Communists "approximately 
20,000 in number, are prevented entirely from attending 


explanations" by terror instigated by "the United States side, 
and the secret agents planted by it." 

The ground for this complicated work of fiction had been 
well laid. No one could conclusively prove it was not true. 
It would be possible for the gullible to believe it. 

But then, quite suddenly, this whole delicately contrived 
alibi was threatened with collapse. 

For neutralist India was worried. Both Thimayya and 
Thorat felt they had a responsibility to see that any waverers 
(however few) got a free choice. Although explanations 
were over, during the 30 following days any prisoner could 
still have repatriation for the asking. 

So India on December 31st broadcast this fact to all pris- 
oners in the compounds, and then began what India's news- 
papers called a "screening" which actually it was. One by 
one, the prisoners were led out of their tents into the sector 
between the inner and outer barbed wire of their compound. 

Now at this point, as Indian soldiers checked the names 
with their roster, each prisoner was free as air. Any Chiang 
or Rhee "terrorists" who might frighten him were far away. 

Already some 9,000 Chinese prisoners of "B" Enclosure 
had been called up. Of these, 131 waverers had asked for 
repatriation. Then the Communists got wind of it, and 
loosed an agonized bellow! 

For it was exactly the kind of fair test of prisoner-opinion 
which, ever since October 17th, they had been maneuvering 
desperately to avoid. Even if it gained them a few unim- 
portant hundreds of waverers, thereafter they could no 
longer claim that American terrorists had kidnapped the 
remaining 22,000. 

Instantly Lieutenant General Lee Sang Cho, in a fright- 
ened and angry note to Thimayya, denounced the screening 
as "a tearing up of the [Armistice Agreement] Terms of 
Reference," and announced that the Communists "will ab- 


solutely not concede to such an unlawful act/* He threatened 
that the Indians would "impair their neutral position/* since 
"real neutral nations" would not 'legalize the scheme of the 
United States side for retaining the Prisoners of War.** They 
did not want their propaganda picture exploded by the In- 
dians* "disguised screening.** 

And at this point, the prisoners got into a badly over- 
crowded act. The Korean captives announced they wanted 
no screening, so the Chinese, "because of a sense of soli- 
darity,** also changed their front. 

Thimayya now backed down and what else could he do? 
He mollified the outraged Communist side by a statement 
that his "checking up of rosters** in Chinese Enclosure "B** 
had been "not at all a screening in any form/* 

Yet the Indians were deeply mindful of any honest 
waverers* who might still be entangled in the ranks of the 
anti-Communist prisoners, and were soon to give them a final 

Freedom, Day 

THE explaining period ended on Christmas Eve, 
and now a brief paper wrangle. The Armistice terms left the 
prisoners in Indian custody for another 30 days, while a 
"political conference** presumably could decide the fate of 
those who had not chosen repatriation. 
The political conference never even met: so now what to 

* After deducting those who came out in this last Indian screen- 
ing, there still could be a theoretical 211 waverers left in the compounds at 
this point. W. L. W. 


do? Perfunctorily, the Czechs and Poles shouted that the 
Communist side had explained only on a total of 10 days, 
and should have another 80. Firmly the Swedes and Swiss 
pointed out that the Armistice terms barred all explanations 
after December 23rd. 

Holding the center of this East- West seesaw, Thimayya 
now continued unswervingly on India's predetermined zig- 
zag course of scrupulous neutrality. 

He first agreed with the Czechs and Poles that the NNRC 
had been unable to carry out adequate explanations. 

Then, swivelling about, he agreed with the Swiss and 
Swedes that the NNRC would, after January 23rd, have no 
further authority to hold the prisoners. 

So now, acting swiftly, deftly, and in the highest tradition 
of military service, Lieutenant General Thimayya moved to 
pass the buck, in a proposal to give back to each detaining 
power, on January 20th, the prisoners it previously had held. 

If either side did not like what then happened, it could 
blame only the other, and not India. 

This brought from the Communist side the expected moan 
of protest. They insisted that "each Prisoner of War has the 
full right to refuse to be forcibly restored to the former 
Detaining Side, and to demand to attend further explana- 

The UN answer was that if Thimayya sent the anti- 
Communist prisoners back to us, we would, on January 23rd, 
release all of them as free civilians. 

Thimayya now placated the Communists by announcing 
that he would strongly deplore such action as a violation of 
the Armistice Agreement. 

But he then overjoyed the United Nations by adding that, 
even though we planned to perpetrate this dastardy, he 
would turn the prisoners over to us, anyway. 

He then pleased the Communists by letting them set up, 


on the surrounding hills, loud-speakers from which they 
told the prisoners they had a right to stay in the NNRC 
custody, to listen to explanations, to be repatriated and, if 
forced to leave their compounds, to seek refuge with the 
troops of Custodial Force India. 

General Thorat of CFI then delighted both sides by mak- 
ing his own broadcast to the prisoners, telling them they still 
had a right to be repatriated. 

Captain-Interpreter Lee Chun Bong, who was soon to 
stroll across to our side, says at this point Chiao had one last 
desperate plan which, even if it did not come off, should 
be set down for the record. 

Summoning the officers of the North Korean division sta- 
tioned just on the northern rim of the demilitarized zone, 
Chiao told them that, during the transfer back to the United 
Nations, a number of South Camp prisoners would make a 
break for freedom. 

"We must open fire to cover their escape and then, advanc- 
ing, head off the rest, rounding them up by force. If anyone 
should criticize us later, we will say that the UN forces 
opened fire first, to retrieve the escapees." 

"I missed the final release,** says Colonel Robinette, ''be- 
cause of a report that the Communists might start an attack, 
which would result in a mass break-out. To cope with this 
if it came, we had built a new reception area just south of 
the demilitarized zone, with signs in Korean and Chinese 
directing each nationality to its new assembly point. 

**We had food ready, and wood for fires to warm them, 
with Chinese and Korean interpreters and a battalion of 
Marines. We didn't want all these many thousands scattering 
wildly over South Korea. 

"During this period my tentmate at Munsan-ni was a man 
named Fairbault, and we had duplicate jobs. If they marched 


out on schedule, his was to entruck them in an orderly way. 

"But if the Communists attacked and the prisoners had 
to flatten their wire and make a run for it, mine was to 
handle this situation. The Marines, who were down at the 
new area to protect them, were terribly disappointed that it 
didn't come off." 

Somehow and at the last minute, apparently Chiao's agents 
lost their nerve. For no shot was fired, and there was no wild 
scramble for safety. 

Instead, the anti-Communist prisoners went through what 
was, in truth, their seventh screening. 

There had been the original one on Koje, after Boatner's 
paratroopers had entered the Communist compounds, fol- 
lowed by another when they were shipped to the Korean 
mainland and Cheju-do, and again on arrival at those two 

Still another had come when we were loading them for 
Big Switch. They had yet another chance to return to Com- 
munist rule as they passed into the Neutral Zone. 

Their next chances were during the months they spent in 
the hands of Custodial Force India. 

Now came the last and final call for waverers as the 
unarmed prisoners marched out between the rifles of India's 
Custodial Force. 

In the NNRC's final report, India did the Communists a 
supreme favor in not calling this a screening and, in fact, 
leaned over backward to join the Czechs and Poles in charg- 
ing that representatives of the prisoners "so devised the 
emergence of the POW from the compounds'* that only 
". . . the most fearless and desperate" of them dared ap- 
proach the Indian guards. 

But the Swiss and Swedes dissented from this dark view, 
pointing out that CFI had arranged the exit so that any 


prisoner could then seek repatriation, as proved by "the fact 
that 104 prisoners [72 Chinese and 32 Koreans] availed 
themselves of this opportunity." 

Exeunt Omnes 

So now 21,805 prisoners taken from the armies of 
our Communist foes marched out of the Neutral Zone toward 
freedom singing, cheering, and waving handmade banners 
of Nationalist China and South Korea, playing on horns and 
bugles hammered from tin food containersa parade so long 
that it took 15 hours and 43 minutes to pass the checkpoint, 
carrying their bedrolls neatly folded, many leading pet dogs, 
and all grinning and happy. As they crossed Freedom Bridge 
over the Imjin River, an American military band was on the 
nether bank to serenade them, as well as a huge sign reading 
"Welcome" in Chinese. 

"At the line," says Paul Garvey, "they were given a tre- 
mendous cheer by high-ranking officers in the Nationalist 
army and government officials come from Taiwan to greet 
them. Then they were loaded into trucks for the trip to 
Inchon, and promptly pulled down the trucks* canvas sides 
so that they could return the roaring cheers of the throngs 
that lined the roads. 

"At Inchon, the Chinese colony was alerted, and the streets 
rang with the clang of cymbals and Chinese music paper 
dragons fluttered overhead, and pretty girls in the traditional 
costume greeted them on stilts. What homesick Chinese 
could ask more?" 


The next day Thimayya got the expected protest from the 
Communist side which, mildly and for the record, "reso- 
lutely oppose your restoring to the UN Command the cap- 
tured personnel of our side . . . transferred to the remnant 
Kuomintang brigands on Taiwan, and the Syngman Rhee 
clique of South Korea, to be readied for serving as cannon 
fodder. . . . We hereby lodge a strong protest." 

In support of this protest, their 327 pro-Communist pris- 
oners in North Camp (including the 21 foolish Americans* 
and the lone Briton) were obediently acting out their second 
Morality Play. 

Since the Communist side had argued that South Camp 
prisoners should have been held for more explanations, the 
North Camp handful now went through the stiff motions of 
demanding just this. Even after India removed her guards, 
they refused to leave their huts. Followed presently an elabo- 
rate hocus-pocus, in which the Chinese and North Korean 
Red Crosses finally took the North Camp handful in tow, to 
get for them residence rights in Communist Asia. 

The Battle of Words now moved back into the NNRC. 
Thimayya, having voted to follow Free World standards of 
honor and decency in giving the prisoners their freedom 
of choice, now zagged toward the Communists by agreeing 
with the Czechs and Poles (in the Commission's final report) 
that the strong anti-Communist organizations among South 
Camp's prisoners: ". . . negate all assumptions or assertions 
about Freedom of Choice. . . . any prisoner who desired 
repatriation had to do so clandestinely and in fear of his life." 

This was sharply challenged by the Swiss and Swedes, 
who, "while admitting the existence in the camps of strong 
POW organizations," felt that the prisoners had adequate 

* Claude Batchelor had defected from the Communists on 
New Year's Day. W. L. W. 


chances to ask repatriation, as "shown by the not inconsider- 
able number (726*) of prisoners who, in the period of cus- 
tody, actually were repatriated" or sent to neutral countries. 

India now found herself saddled with the vexing problem 
of the waverers. Among those 726 who had deserted the 
anti-Communist prisoners were 12 Chinese and 89 Koreans 
who, thoroughly tired of the pro- and anti-Communist strug- 
gle, said they wanted to start life anew in a neutral country 
(under the Armistice Terms of Reference this was possible), 
and India offered a refuge. They were joined by two other 
waverers from the North Camp. 

Whereupon some of these waverers re-wobbled and, on 
February 4th, 15 Koreans were, at their own request, re- 
stored to UN custody. The remaining 12 Chinese and 74 
Koreans sailed four days later for India where, by now, they 
presumably have ceased wavering. 

Last to gain freedom were the seven leaders of Chinese 
Compound #28, accused of killing, eating, and/or burning 
the nonexistent Chang Tsu-lung, Although not one gnawed 
or charred bone of this imaginary corpse was ever produced, 
the murder trial of those seven had been set by the Indians 
for December 11, 1953. 

The seven defendants had asked the United Nations to 
provide them with a lawyer. Instantly Lieutenant General 
Lee Sang Cho had protested to General Thimayya, for this 
was a violation of Soviet principles of jurisprudence. As 
developed under Stalin, on the rare occasions when an ac- 
cused man is allowed a lawyer, it is one appointed by the 
judge, and he has the sole duty of frightening his "client" 
into a confession. 

* Compare this actual figure with my estimated 711, which 
was the probable number of repatriates the Communists might have gotten 
had each man in all 50 compounds received an individual explanation. 
W. L. W. 


On February 16, 1954, Thimayya notified the Commu- 
nists that the seven accused of Chang Tsu-lung's murder 
would be turned loose "because, as you are aware, their 
trial could not take place, as the prosecution witnesses were 
not produced by you before the court." There was only 
a sigh of Communist protest. 

In this chronicle are severe criticisms of the South Korean 
government, and not from Communists alone. The Interna- 
tional Red Cross had condemned its treatment of Commu- 
nist suspects in 1950. The Indians later resented Seoul's 
efforts (not always successful) to direct the anti-Communist 
prisoners under the noses of the Indian guards. 

But if there was, on both sides of this Korean conflict, a 
bitterness which seems unreasonable to the Free West, it 
stems from the blistering heat of that Civil War which knew 
no bournes of geography. 

For Koreans of all factions could unite in denouncing the 
38th parallel. This surveyor's line represented no difference 
in peoples on either side, but was instead a monument to the 
post-war bickerings of the great powers who had "liberated" 
that sad land. No Korean respected the wisdom of these 
squabbling Solomons who sawed his country in half. All 
passionately wanted union; but under different flags. 

That barrier has assigned to each Korean a purely arbi- 
trary allegiance, based on accident of birth. The facts are 
that many of South Korea's ablest anti-Communist leaders 
were born north of the Parallel, and countless other anti- 
Communist thousands were in 1950 liberated by the UN 
armies, before we were rolled back. It is also true that there 
was, in South Korea, a Communist minority large enough to 
be troublesome in peace and dangerous in war. 

Only after weighing such facts can the Free World under- 
stand why South Korea felt betrayed by her allies when, at 


Panmunjom, seemingly bored with her war, they ceased to 
press the Communists for those more than 50,000 South 
Korean prisoners and instead weakly settled for return of 
only a fraction of South Korea's huge total 

It therefore follows that South Korea could, in June 1953, 
release the anti-Communist North Koreans with no twitch 
of conscience. She was only giving to brother Koreans the 
freedom they deserved, in partial recompense for her kid- 
napped sons. 

Hence also, South Korea's iron determination to strengthen 
anti-Communist leadership, even within the NNRC com- 

She could do this with honor, for her word was not 
pledged. Her powerful liberators had elbowed her aside 
at Panmunjom: Syngman Rhee's signature was not on the 
Armistice: she was still at war. 

The NNRC on February 1, 1954, voted to dissolve. The 
final page of its report is briny with the tears of Lieu- 
tenant General Lee Sang Cho, shed for "the overwhelming 
majority of the Korean and Chinese captured personnel," 
who were "not given the opportunity to be repatriated/* but 
instead were "f orcibly retained by the United Nations Com- 
mand," for which kidnapping its perpetrators "will have to 
answer to history." 

The late Chancellor Adolf Hitler once said he had no 
fear of history's verdict, since it is always (he wisely pointed 
out) "written by the victors/' If by some good chance it 
should fall to a non-Communist to pen the final chronicle of 
this century in Asia, he will surely laugh in the tear-stained 
face of Lieutenant General Lee Sang Cho. 

What Communist will "answer" for those 75,000 anti- 
Communist soldiers who, according to UN records and 


official Communist boasts, were captured alive by them in 
Korea? Which Chinese Volunteer or North Korean will 
"answer" for those who starved or froze? 

As for the rest, we know that in Big Switch the Commu- 
nists returned 12,760. We know that of the huge remainder 
the Communists dared trust only 359 who could be sent to 
North Camp with a fair certainty that they would reject 

But what Communist will "answer to history" for the miss- 
ing balance of 60-odd thousand? Certainly Lieutenant Gen- 
eral Lee Sang Cho will not "answer": this sobbing soldier 
now blandly denies that these men ever existed. 

All to What End? 

EACH side offered to the prisoners its creed, which 
was denounced by the other as propaganda. In each case it 
produced a split between those prisoners who accepted the 
new doctrines and those who would not. 

The Communist side seemed to have had every advantage. 
Its indoctrination began only after the prisoners had first 
been broken by measured starvation. They were told that if 
they rejected those Communist truths they might never see 
their homes. 

In our United Nations prison camps on Koje, Cheju, and 
at Pusan, regularly inspected by the Red Cross, food in all 
compounds was adequate and equal. The prisoners we held 
were free to refuse any or all of our educational program, 
always knowing that they could go home if they liked. 


In this struggle between ways of life, let us look at the 
result. Of the 75,000 UN and South Korean soldiers captured 
by their Communist armies more than 60,000 were unac- 
counted for, but 12,760 were allowed to go home and, 
according to Communist tabulation, only 327 Koreans, 21 
Americans, and one Briton were converted to Communism. 

Now for our side: of the more than 171,000 prisoners we 
took, only 83,000* chose to go home. Of these, probably not 
half were really pro-Communist. But an astounding total of 
88,000 men who had worn Communist uniforms, with no 
coaxing from us, refused to go back. It was a situation with- 
out parallel in human history. 

The Indians could not understand why the family ties of 
these men had not drawn them home. What manner of men 
were those who chose to stay? 

Some light on this comes from a survey we made in a 
number of compounds, breaking the prisoners down as to 
occupations, ages, and degrees of education. It uncovered 
sharp differences between the Chinese and Koreans, most of 
them easily explained, a few of them puzzling. 

An important difference is that most Chinese "volunteers* 
actually were regular-army veterans with many years* serv- 
ice. Some had not seen their wives and children since World 
War II when they had left home under Chiang Kai-shek to 
drive out the Japanese. With the fall of Free China, they 
had been impressed into the Communist armies. So now, 
with few home ties, they could make a clearer choice be- 
tween Communism and Freedom as ways of life. 

By contrast, very few of the Koreans had been professional 
soldiers: links with family and village were strong. 

Divided as to age groups, some differences are puzzling* 
Among our Chinese prisoners, 43% of those over 45 chose 

* This includes those 6,000 returned in Little Switch on tiie 
basis of their health, not their politics. W. L. W. 


to go home. But of those under 18, less than 1% wanted 
repatriation. Communism is supposed to appeal to youth: 
what happened here? Or in Hungary? 

Among the Koreans, we find 59% of those over 45 wanting 
to return, and 54% of those under 18. For whatever reason, 
our huge harvest of those rejecting repatriation came from 
the middle age group-between 18 and 45. 

Educational surveys turned up other strange differences, 
Among the Koreans, most of whom had attended good schools 
under the Japanese, literacy was 66$. Only 18% of the Chi- 
nese captives could read, but this reflects no difference in 

Among the Chinese, we found that of those with nine 
years or less of education 80% were anti-Communist, with 
no difference between degrees of learning. However, those 
with slightly more schooling (10-12 years) were only 68$ 
anti-Communist. When the educational level rose to college 
age, only 38% were anti-Communist. 

Now comes another surprise. Some of our Chinese captives 
listed themselves as "students, 7 * meaning they had been 
pulled from Communist schools or colleges when the Korean 
War began. Of these, not one would go back to China. This 
was also true of those who listed themselves as merchants, 
professional men, or government employees. 

Turning to the Koreans, there are some upsets. North 
Korea, beginning with the Japanese surrender in 1945, had 
had five solid years of Communist occupation before their 
war broke out. Among Koreans with no education, we find 
the pro-Communists number 41.5% (contrast this with 20% 
for the illiterate Chinese). 

But turn now to the Koreans with college tra.fafri.g- We 
find only 4.2% of them willing to go homeas contrasted with 
62% of the Chinese of equal education. 

From these somewhat baffling figures a few conclusions 


may be drawn. One is that Communism, whatever its appeal 
to the few Chinese intellectuals, is detested by the toiling 
masses, 8035 of whom wanted no more of it. 

A second is that among the North Koreans, who have had 
a longer, harder dose of Communism than the Chinese, this 
creed has for the intellectuals no appeal whatever, for 95% 
were frantic to leave. 

Since the battle within our prison compounds was purely 
a struggle between two ways of life, these figures give us a 
look clear and deep into the soul of Asia. 

Undoubtedly the appeal of Communism is strong in Asia. 
But the Korean War proved that it tugs only those millions 
of Asians who know it least. The more distant millions of 
Indochina, Burma, Indonesia, and India may build on Com- 
munism fantasies of hope. But such dreams were impossible 
for the men in our prison camps, who, whatever they once 
hoped of Communism, now had known it naked. 

The emergence of these sprawling Communist Serf- 
Empires which mar our century brings new problems to 
international law. The Geneva Conventions a product of 
that 19th-century humanitarianism at which Communists 
sneer were written not in the interest of Governments, but 
for the protection of Peoples. 

Although in recent millennia, governments have varied 
widely in degree of perfection, none until our era has been 
so bad that prisoners did not want to go home. So the gentle 
idealists who penned the Hague and Geneva Conventions 
made repatriation of prisoners a basic human right. 

Yet today the Serf-Empires are faced, in any conflict 
with the Free West, however minor, by the grave prob- 
lem of their runaway slaves. Consider their viewpoint: dare 


they sign anything which would let their armies scamper off 
to freedom?* 

America can help bridge this gap in East-West thinking. 
A similar issue was burning in our politics exactly one cen- 
tury ago, with its climax in the Dred Scott decision in 1857. 

Today, the wrath in Moscow and Peiping over their de- 
fecting prisoners is just as real as was the anger of American 
Senators from the slaveholding Southern states toward any- 
one who would entice their chattels, and then refuse to herd 
them back. 

When, during the Korean struggle, Soviet Delegate Andrei 
Vishinsky, speaking in the United Nations on November 24, 
1952, contended that all prisoners were 'XH* "government 
property" that should be returned, Chief Justice Roger B. 
Taney of Maryland would have applauded, f 

As the NNRC was dissolving, one of its Swiss members 
pointed out that on the issue of forced repatriation, the 
Geneva Convention was not clear, only because no one had 
foreseen it The Korean settlement had been possible because 
a special Armistice Agreement had been made for this par- 
ticular war which, however, will be binding in no other. 

* Visiting Austria after the recent uprisings in Budapest, Re- 
porter Paul Garvey, interviewing refugees who had fled over the border, 
found one North Korean who, because of his honorable war service on the 
Communist side, had been awarded, with several hundred others, a kind of 
Marxist Fulbright Scholarship to study at the University of Budapest. 

Mixing however with European students, all had been "contaminated" 
with western concepts of freedom and, when the uprising against Russia 
came, most had joined their fellow students on the barricades. However 
when it was quelled, most were returned to Pyongyang in disgrace. W. L. W. 

f In his opinion in the case of Dred Scott, a runaway slave, in 
1857, Chief Justice Taney argued that slaves had been recognized as property 
by the Constitution, and so Congress was bound to protect, not prohibit, 
slavery. W. L. W. 


He stressed the need for a new Geneva convocation, to draft 
a clear statute on this moot point. 

Much must be cleared up, starting with the question of 
whether the signature of any Communist state to die Geneva 
Conventions has real meaning. Is the real need for new 
covenants, or is it for honorable Communist compliance with 
those they have already signed? Communist governments 
have only recently been coaxed into the Geneva orbit. Look- 
ing at what happened in Korea, the Free World may well 
now ask if the result was worth the trouble. 

The Soviet Union had refused to sign the Geneva Conven- 
tions of 1929. In World War II it was Joseph Stalin's paranoid 
suspicions of the International Red Cross (they continued 
until his death) which probably cost the lives of hundreds of 
thousands of both Russian and German prisoners. 

Shortly after Hitler attacked the Soviet Union in 1941, 
that government announced that prisoners would be treated 
in accordance with "the principles of the Hague tribunal" 
and declared itself willing to send out names of prisoners, 
if the Germans would reciprocate. 

This the Germans did, and presently a list of 300 Soviet 
prisoners "written in pencil," the IRC reports "was received 
from Germany, and sent on ... it was also the last." For 
the Germans, "in view of the fact that no news whatever 
was being sent from the USSR, refused to furnish any further 
information until reciprocity became effective." 

The same thing happened in the matter of Geneva's efforts 
to inspect prison camps. 

The Germans had allowed one early "unofficial" IRC 
inspection of Russian prisoners in their Hammerstein Camp. 
But when the USSR refused to admit IRC delegates to 
visit the German prisoners, from then on out the Germans 
barred the IRC from inspecting Russian prisoners. 

In 1949 the Swiss called a second International Confer- 
ence to bring the Rules of War up to date, and the Free 


World was pleasantly surprised that Soviet Russia sent dele- 
gates who took an active part in the talks. 

America got a modification in the food requirement for 
prisoners. Previously the stipulation was that they be fed 
the same rations as depot troops of the power which cap- 
tured them. 

World War II had shown, however, that western prisoners 
sometimes starve on an oriental diet, so the new standard 
was that food should be sufficient to preserve health and 
prevent loss of weight. 

But a brisk discussion followed over Article 85 of the new 
Convention, on prisoners of war, which provides that a pris- 
oner prosecuted 


These benefits ensure the prisoner a fair trial, under the 
same laws that would apply to a soldier of the power which 
is holding him, and an IRC delegate attends the court hear- 
ings. He may pick his own lawyer and if convicted he has 
the right of appeal and to get mail and food parcels, and the 
IRC visits continue. 

Even if sentenced to death, he may not be executed until 
six months after the IRC or other "Protecting Power"* has 
been notified. 

Article 85 was proposed because international law still was 
haunted by the disturbing precedent of the Nuremberg- 
Tokyo trials a concept to which in 1945 even America sub- 
scribedthat Victors or Captors may unilaterally hang Pris- 
oners or Vanquished for "Crimes against Humanity" defined 

* Throughout, the Geneva Conventions provide that this Pro- 
tecting Power, which guards the rights of prisoners, need not be the Inter- 
national Red Cross although this body is set up largely for that purpose- 
but may be any neutral state or humanitarian organization the warring 
powers can agree on. W. L. W. 


by these Captors, and in courts of their picking winch 
(America also provided) "shall not be bound by technical 
rules of evidence."* 

When, during World War II, the Japanese (who had not 
signed the Geneva Convention) tried and beheaded the 
captured Doolittle flyers for bombing Tokyo (presumably, 
in Japanese eyes, a "Crime against Humanity'*) we protested 
this wartime execution as a travesty of justice. 

But presently a victorious America put on trial captured 
Japanese General Yamashita, who in the Philippines had 
commanded the 14th Army Group, holding him personally 
responsible for the Bataan Death March. 

Yamashita was convicted, but on the basis of considerable 
hearsay and deposition evidence, which would have been 
thrown out by any American court, either in civil proceed- 
ings or in a court-martial. 

On these grounds, his case was appealed to the American 
Supreme Court. Here was our chance to show the Japanese 
who presumably were learning Democracy at our knee that 
American courts were above war hysteria, and would see that 
an enemy prisoner on trial for his life got his full measure of 
rights under our laws. Furthermore, Ordinance No. 7 was 
no Act of Congress, but only a War Department promulga- 
tion, which should hardly abash an American Supreme Court 

But what our highest court did was to uphold US Military 
Government Ordinance No. 7, under which we then pro- 
ceeded, with appropriate ceremony, to hang General Yama- 
shita. Ironically, this Supreme Court precedent also cleared 
the Japanese of much blame in beheading our Doolittle fly- 
ers. For if we can enjoy the luxury of wartime shortcuts to 
justice, with free-wheeling rules of evidence, why could not 

*From the text of the US Military Government Ordinance 
No. 7, authorizing the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials. W. L. W. 


It was in part to halt the codification of such Neanderthal 
precedents into international law that the Swiss convoked the 
Geneva Convention in 1949. At this conference the American 
delegate favored a return to more civilized standards as 
represented by Article 85, which guarantees a prisoner the 
rudiments of justice at least while in captivity, however 
savagely the victors may dispose of him when the war is over. 

The Soviet delegation, which had opposed Article 85 in 
the discussions, signed this 1949 Geneva Convention with a 
lengthy reservation, announcing that the USSR would not 
give the benefits of the Convention to any prisoner they 
might see fit to convict, "in accordance with the principles of 
the Nuremberg trial, for war crimes. . . ." 

This Soviet reservation was presently carbon-copied by 
every Communist satellite "Tank Democracy" which later 
signed or approved the Conventions, including the Chinese 
Communist regime, in 1952. 

The Korean War has shown that this reservation is an 
escape hatch whereby Communist states may evade Geneva's 
most solemn obligations. An American soldier became, by 
Communist definition, a "war criminal" simply by setting 
foot on Korean soil. His rights as a prisoner of war then 

Still more vital is the matter of the Protecting Power, which 
is the Geneva Convention's only machinery of enforcement. 
Although in July of 1950 the North Korean government an- 
nounced it would abide by the Geneva Convention, these 
pages have chronicled (perhaps in tedious detail) Swiss 
efforts to get access to our prisoners. 

Again this follows sad Soviet precedent, for never, since 
the establishment of Communism in November of 1917, has 
any Communist state ever opened its frontiers to any neutral 
inspector on any matter, however paltry, this ban extending 
even to the stratosphere above those sorry lands, as America 


was to discover when, in 1955, President Eisenhower pro- 
posed mutual aerial inspection of armaments. 

If the paranoid xenophobia of Communism bars even in- 
spection from the air in time of peace, who will dare hope it 
would admit neutral inspecting delegates in wartime? 

Without neutral inspection, what value has any Commu- 
nist signature on any Geneva Convention? 

Some, perhaps. 

For although no Communist state is concerned over its 
own tightly controlled public opinion, it still must (and 
does) give heed to that of the Free World. 

So, even though we are now forewarned of the small value 
of any Communist promise, for the sake of future prisoners 
it is surely worth another earnest effort to strengthen and 
clarify the Geneva Conventions. 

But now, shrill and timid voices surely will ask, why con- 
cern ourselves with prisoners since, when war next comes, 
all without distinction of uniform may well be fried by 
nuclear fission? 

The answer is that if, in our almost two millennia of West- 
ern Christendom, anything remains worth saving from the 
brutish materialism of Karl Marx, it is surely typified by the 
quaint 19th-century kindliness of those gentle Geneva Swiss: 

the concept that Man is more worthy of respect even 
than those governments which, in his folly, he creates. 

that Man, even in defeat and humbled as a prisoner, has 
a dignity which should be inviolate. 

If ever a time should come when we find these sweet and 
simple truths no longer worth our striving, then let the 
Termite State take over, and All Hail the Coming of the 



Abe Lincoln in Illinois, 114 

Acheson, Dean, 6, 150 

Air Force, US, 133, 134, 144. See 

also Bacterial Warfare 
Alden, Robert, 310 
America (magazine), 36 
Andreen, Dr. Andrea, 172 
Anju, 148 
Anshan, 229 
Armistice, 125, 157, 165-66, 190-91, 

211-15, 227-36, 243, 246, 247, 

248, 255, 289, 290, 298, 309, 311, 

319, 320-21, 326, 328 
Artilleryman, The, 39-44, 45-53, 54- 

58, 62-63, 75, 117-18, 120, 121, 

129, 131, 143, 144, 205-11, 222-23 

and n. 9 265 
Ayres, Lieutenant, 171 

Bacterial Warfare charges, 147-52, 
160, 166-78, 180, 218-19; sum- 
ming up, 259-62. See also Harris, 
Captain Theodore 

Bataan Death March, 336 

Batchelor, Ckude, 325 n. 

Bean Camp, 45, 52, 54-58, 62-63, 
65, 67, 74, 76, 117, 131 

Beethoven, 218 

Berlin, East, riots, 232 

Bessero, 98 

Bieri, Frederick, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 15, 
16, 25, 27, 28, 32, 34, 38, 44, 53, 
54, 56, 58-60, 64, 79, 80, 98, 119- 
20, 135, 152, 155, 156 

"Big Switch," 217, 231, 237-39, 244, 
246, 298, 323; totals, 262-66 

Boatner, General Haydon, 196, 198, 
199, 213, 289, 323 

Brahms, 218 

Bulgaria, 67, 149 

Burchett, Wilfred, 168, 169, 171, 
177, 249 n., 250, 273, 274 

Camp li, 128, 129, 134, 141, 144, 

169, 171, 172, 199, 203, 224 
Camp V, 83-92, 100, 103-10, 118, 

120-29, 141, 145, 171 
"Casey at the Bat," 129 
Ce Soir, 168 
"Chang Tsu-lung," murder of, 277, 

280, 305-07, 326-27 
Chein Sung-kuei, 305 
Cheju-do, 215, 217, 243, 244, 245, 

248, 249, 266, 272, 273, 287, 323, 


Chen, 201 
Chiang Kai-shek, 48, 113, 156, 

187 n., 214, 247, 268, 269, 270, 

273, 274, 281, 285, 291, 293, 294, 

295, 296, 307, 330 
Chiao Mu, 288-89, 291, 302, 305, 

307, 308, 310, 311, 313, 317, 322, 


"Chicago Peace Committee," 126 
China, Communist, 9, 10, 32, 62, 

96-97, 212-13, 227, 228, 291, 310, 





China, Communist, forces in Korea: 
entry into war, 80, 229-30, 276; 
as captors, 40-44, 45-53, 54-58, 
62-63, 67, 84, 85-96, 103-10, 117- 
19, 130-34, 141-46, 178-82, 199- 
211, 218-27, 250-55, 256-62; as 
prisoners, 33, 34, 59, 60, 113, 116, 
136, 137, 139, 140, 156, 192, 214, 
215, 232, 245, 262, 266, 271-80, 
281-97, 299, 305, 310-13, 316-17, 
324, 330-32 

China, Nationalist, 330. See also 

China Monthly Review, 108 

China Peace Committee, 142, 146, 

Chonju, 12, 17 

Chorwan Valley, 46 

Chou En-lai, 10, 118, 212, 220, 228, 
247, 279 

Christenberry, Major General 
Charles, 248 

Chungfu, 53, 58 

Citizen Tom Paine, 218 

Clark, General Mark, 195, 197-99, 
228, 233, 234, 278 

Cleverly, Frank T., 135 

Colson, Brigadier General Charles 
F., 195, 196 

Communism, appeal of, 330-32 

Condron, Andrew, 317 

Courvoisier, Jean, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 

Czechoslovakia, role in PO W ex- 
changes, 230, 233, 235, 245, 252, 
267, 269, 280, 282, 283, 286, 290, 
291, 293, 294, 297, 310, 321, 323, 

Dotty Worker, New York, 125, 168; 

London, 125, 158 
Darwin, 207 
David Copperfield, 226 
Defense, US Department of. See 


Denmark, 67 

Dickens, 226 

Dickinson, Corporal Edward S., 314 

Ding, Camp Commander, 105, 123, 

141, 142, 199, 200, 205, 209, 210, 

222, 226, 250, 253, 254 
"Dirty Hands," 86, 89, 127 
Doctor, The, 71-79, 83-91, 93, 

103-10, 122-28, 131, 141, 142, 

144, 169, 171-72, 208, 218-19, 

232, 251, 252, 253-54, 255 
Dodd, Brigadier General Francis T., 

162-64, 194-95, 196, 197, 211 
Dog. Patch Mail Service, 222-23, 253 
Doolittle flyers, 335 
Dred Scott decision, 333 and n. 
Dulles, John Foster, 233 

Eighth Army, US, 30 

Eighth Route Army (Chinese), 128 

Eisenhower, President, 75, 228, 231, 

233, 247, 337 
Engels, 209 
Evans, Colonel, 171 

Fairbault, 322-23 

Farge, Yve, 168 

Felton, Monica, 126 

First Cavalry Division, 71, 77, 83 

Fitzgerald, Colonel, 162 

Flash, 247 

Florian, Etienne (Istvann), 24, 26, 

61, 122, 148-49 
Formosa (Taiwan), 113, 156, 192, 

247, 272, 273, 281, 284, 285, 286, 

288, 291, 292, 295 n., 309, 310, 


Foster, William Z., 126, 209 
Fourteenth Field Hospital, US, 119- 

Freedom Village, 253, 254, 258, 259 

Garvey, Paul, 282, 283, 284-85, 286, 
287, 292, 304, 324 



General, The, 12.14, 16-23, 25, 

Geneva Conventions, 5, 6, 7, 15, 18, 
19, 23, 28, 29, 34, 41, 42, 50, 99, 
125, 133, 139, 146, 149, 199, 211- 
12, 213, 216, 220, 224, 226, 269, 
290, 311, 332, 333-38; Articles: 
16, 82; 17, 19, 70; 23, 64, 144; 

26, 77, 197; 38, 111; 85, 335-37 
and n. ; 118, 213; 121, 82 

Germany, East, 147 
Germany, West, 67 
Gibbons, Captain "Spud," 70 
Gin ( Chinese indoctrinator), 127 
Great Britain, 10 n. f 84, 281, 316 

Hague Convention, 332, 334 

Hamhung, 44 

Hammerstein, Germany, POW camp, 

Han River, 233 

Hanley, Colonel James M., 143, 206, 

Hansen, Colonel Kenneth K., 245 

Harris, Captain Theodore, 178-82, 
256-59, 260, 262 

Harrison, Lieutenant General Wil- 
liam K., Jr., 212, 215, 230, 235, 
236, 248, 267-68, 273, 308 

Hitler, Adolf, 159, 328, 334 

Hseuh-ho, 305 

Huckleberry Finn, 218 

Huichon, 32 

Huks, 180 

Imjin River, 282, 324 

Inchon, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 25, 

27, 31, 32, 33, 71, 80, 153, 238, 

India, 67, 227; role in POW ex- 
changes, 230, 231, 233, 235, 245- 
48, 267-70, 272, 273, 275, 277-80, 
283-85, 289-92, 296-98, 301-07, 
310, 311-13, 319-23, 326, 327 

Information Service, US, 36 

International Scientific Commission, 

167 and n., 172-78 
Italy, 67 

Japan, 23, 30, 31, 35, 36, 48, 128, 
147, 173, 252, 276, 330, 331, 

Jorden, William, 309 

Joy, Vice-Admiral C. Turner, 125, 

Kaesong, 17, 156, 244, 252, 253, 

Khrushchev, Niltita* 261 n. 

Kid, The, 210-11, 222-23 

Kim, Colonel, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 

Kim, General, 288 

Kim n Sung, Marshal, 41, 42, 158, 
184, 209, 230, 288 

Kimpo Air Base, 229 

Kniss, Lieutenant Paul, 171 

Koje-do, 37, 64, 77, 98, 110-17, 120, 
121, 138, 139, 140, 152, 184-99, 
215, 217, 236, 243, 248, 266, 299, 
323, 329; disorders, 160-64, 194- 

Korea, North, starts war, 3-4; ignores 
IRC requests, 3-10; cables IRC, 
11; IRC contacts Moscow ambas- 
sador, 15-16, 23-24; IRC con- 
tinues appeals to, 25-26, 28-30; 
IRC seeks entry to, 60-62; IRC 
seeks entry for medicines, 97, 121- 
22; birthday, 137; army, 283; 
Communism in, 331-32; 337 

Korea, South, 4, 5; welcomes IRC, 7; 
11, 17, 21; accused of atrocities, 
26-28; 36; birthday, 137; 217; re- 
leases anti-Communist POWs, 
230-33; 243, 281, 289; accused of 
instructing POWs, 298, 300; 315, 
325; criticisms of, 327-28 

Kuo Mo Jo, Dr., 166 

Kuomintang, 10, 277, 295, 325 

Kutratchov, Colonel, 193 



Lame Captain, The, 253, 255 

Laubach, Frank, 113 

Lee (Korean interrogator), 17, 20, 

Lee, Colonel (Chinese), 288 

Lee, Senior Colonel (Korean), 152, 

Lee Chun Bong, Captain-Interpreter, 
276-77, 288, 291, 292, 295, 308, 
310, 317, 322 

Lee Sang Cho, Lieutenant General, 
268, 276, 288, 297, 306, 308, 309, 
312, 318, 319-20, 326, 328, 329 

Lehner, Otto, 140, 158-59, 160, 197- 

"Lenient Policy," Chinese, 41, 93, 
105, 131, 133, 168, 200, 207, 265 

Lenin, 262, 309 

Lil Abner, 222 

Li Teh-chuan, Madame, 97, 135, 
145, 146 

"Little Switch," 228, 234 

Liu, 90-91 

Liyu, 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51 

Lohman, Dr. Joseph, 281 

Lombard, Chris, 222, 223 

Lord Haw-Haw, 216 

MacArthur, General, 13, 20, 22, 71, 

80, 111, 229 
Mahurin, Colonel, 171 
Major, The, 118-19, 120, 121 
Malik, Jacob, 11 
Malterre, Jean, 173 
Mampo, 32, 253 
Man with the Drooping Wrists, 

Manchuria, 48, 147, 229, 257, 276, 

Mao Tse-tung, 125, 126, 209, 279, 

305, 306 

March, The, 45-53 
Marines, US, 27, 31 
Marx, Karl, 129, 209, 243, 309, 338 
Mehta, C. L., 247 

Mendelssohn, 218 
Miserable**, Les, 218 
Montgomery Ward catalogue, 115 
Moorer, Major Edward, 317 
Mukden, 173, 181, 182, 256, 257 
Munsan-ni, 239, 282, 322 

Nam II, 125, 191, 230 

Needham, Sir Joseph, 173, 176 n. 

Nehru, 233, 247 

Neutral Nations Repatriation Com- 
mission, 230, 231, 235, 245-49, 
252, 266-70, 273, 275, 277-80, 
282, 283, 289-94, 296-97, 307, 
309, 314, 315, 321-23, 325, 328, 

New York Times, 309, 310 

No Kum Sak, Lieutenant, 229-30 

No-Name Valley, 253, 255 

Norway, 67 

Nung Sam, 270-71 

Nuremberg Trials, 212, 335 and n., 

Of Mice and Men, 218 
Oistrakh, David, 218 
Old Bolsheviks, 261-62 
Olivo, OHviero, 173 
O'Neil, Lieutenant, 171 
Osborne, Monta L., 35, 36, 37, 111, 
112, 115, 116, 249, 250 

Pace, Frank, Jr., 194 

Pak, Major, 68-70 

Pak Hen Yen, 7-8, 9, 11, 16, 26, 64, 

97, 121, 148 

Pak Sang Hyong, 192-94, 196-97 
Pakistan, 230 
Pak's Pakce, 67, 118 
Panmunjom, 125, 157, 158, 165-66, 

188, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 

211-15, 218, 220, 227, 228, 230, 

236, 251, 267, 328 
"Papa-San Compound," 115-16 
Passoa, Samuel, 173 



Peace Campaign, Chinese, 125-27, 

Peiping, 10 n. See also China, Com- 

Peng Teh-huai, General, 184 

Pentagon, 3, 4, 19, 30, 35, 38, 51, 73 

Penyang, 130 

Philippines, forces in Korea, 84 

Picasso, 184, 209 

Pichong-ni, 128 

Pieck, Wilhelm, 209 

Poland, role in POW exchanges, 230, 
233, 235, 245, 267, 269, 282, 286, 
290, 291, 293, 294, 297, 301, 310, 
321, 323, 325 

Powell, 108 

Prisoners of War, Communist-held: 
bombed by USAF, 144-45; Christ- 
mas, 222-23; collaborators, 262- 
64; diet, 43, 46-47, 50-51, 55-56, 
67, 75-78, 85, 91, 92-95, 127, 129, 
218, 221; indoctrination, 105-10, 
120-29, 142-43, 254; medical care, 
56-57, 67, 78-79, 83-92, 117-19, 
124, 131-32, 219-20; "Progres- 
sives" vs. "Reactionaries/* 106, 
110, 126, 128, 132, 134, 141-43, 
221, 222, 251, 254; repatriation, 
141, 250-55, 262-66; totals, 158, 
165; turncoats, 281, 314-16, 317, 
325, 330 

Prisoners of War, UN-held: Civilian 
Internees, 153-55, 157, 159, 162, 
166r216-17, 234, 236-37; Com- 
munists vs. Anti-Communists, 81- 
82, 111, 113-17, 136-40, 152-57, 
160-64, 185-97, 215-17, 326-39, 
243-50, 254 and n., 268-81; diet, 
see IRC reports; explanations, 
243-50, 266-314, 317-20; IRC re- 
ports, 8, 25, 33-34, 38, 44, 53-54, 
58-60, 64, 80-81, 98-100, 112-13, 
119-21, 135-40, 152-57, 161-64; 
medical care, see IRC reports; re- 
habilitation program, 35-37, 110- 

17; repatriation, 182-84, 190-91, 

211-17, 226-28, 230-36, 262; riots, 

160-64, 194-99; survey, 330-32; 

totals, 234, 243-44 
Pure Perfidy, 249 n. 
Pusan, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 26, 27, 37, 

38, 53, 59, 60, 64, 79, 80, 119, 

120, 136, 137, 139, 140, 152, 156, 

185, 230, 244, 329 
Pyoktong, 74, 83, 117, 118, 121, 129, 

131, 205 
Pyongyang, 4, 8, 9, 11, 16, 17, 20, 

25, 29, 32, 34, 45, 54, 61, 69, 71, 

173, 193, 252 

Radio Peiping, 146, 151, 152, 158 

Raghavendra-Rao, Dr. S., 150 

Ramsey, Colonel R. R., 153 

Ranger, The, 129-34, 172, 199-205, 
220-27, 252, 254 

Red-Bearded Surgeon, The, 74, 76, 
78, 80, 90-91, 105, 109, 124 

Red Cross: American, 96, 135, 150; 
Australian, 253; Chinese Commu- 
nist, 96-97, 144, 145, 151, 251, 
325; Free Chinese, 268; Hungar- 
ian, 12, 24, 25, 26, 29, 61, 67, 
122, 148-49; Indian, 150, 247, 
278; national organizations of, 4-5, 
12; North Korean, 9, 61, 97, 251, 
325; Polish, 149; Romanian, 149 

Red Cross, International Committee 
of the, begins services in Korean 
War, 3-12; seeks contact with 
North Korea, 15-16, 23-24, 25-26; 
checks atrocity reports, South, 26- 
28; seeks entry to North, 28-30, 
60-62; asks Communists to mark 
POW camps, 63-64; seeks entry to 
North for drugs, 96-97, 121-22; 
still seeking contact with North, 
134-35; asks POW camp locations, 
North, 144-45; asks China for 
POW lists, 146; gets Communist 
charge of UN "germ warfare/* 



148-52; Communists attack, 158- 
60; germ-warfare study blocked, 
166-67 and n.; rebukes UN on 
Koje disorders, 197-99; 236, 237, 

248, 251, 266, 327, 334, 335 and 
n., 338. See also Prisoners of War, 
UN-held, IRC reports 

Red Cross Societies, League of, 5, 


Renown and Repulse, HMS, 202 
Reynier, Jacques de, 6, 10, 135 
Rhee, Syngman, 6, 7, 18, 27, 28, 
153, 156, 216, 228, 230, 231, 232, 
233, 234, 238, 247, 268, 269, 270, 
271, 274, 285, 289, 295, 296, 316, 

Robertson, Walter S., 233 
Robinette, Colonel William R., 35, 
112, 115, 116, 189-90, 236-39, 

249, 282, 283, 285, 293, 800, 303, 
307, 317, 322-23 

Rodos, Investigative Judge, 261 and 


Roi, Claude, 168-69 
Romania, 67 
Ruegger, Paul, 4-12, 23, 24, 26, 29, 

60-62, 63-64, 97, 121, 144, 150, 

151-52, 167 and n. 

Saturday Evening Post, 202 

Scapa Flow, 202 

Sears, Roebuck catalogue, 115 

Second Division, US, 83 

Seoul, 4, 13, 14, 16, 23, 27, 31, 35, 

80, 229, 298 
Shanghai News, 108, 134 
Sharif, Dr., 151 
Simpson, Lieutenant, 117 
Sinanju, 178 
Sixty-Fourth Field Hospital, US, 33, 


Sletter, Captain Donald, 292 
Songgong-ni, 314 
Stalin, 36, 125, 152, 209, 212, 216, 

228, 261, 262, 287, 326, 334 

Stalingrad, 212 

State, US Department of, 6 

Steinbeck, John, 218 n. 

Stilwell, General Joe, 40, 45, 46, 49 

Stockholm, 172 

Sun (Chinese indoctrinator), 124, 
172, 201, 202, 203, 205, 207-09 

Supreme Court, US, 336 

Suan, 19, 74, 77 

Sweden, 67; role in POW exchanges, 
230, 235, 245, 247, 267, 269, 275, 
280, 283, 290, 296, 312, 314, 321, 
323, 325-26 

Switzerland, 61; role in POW ex- 
changes, 230, 245, 247, 267, 269, 
280, 283, 290, 296, 307, 311, 312, 
314, 321, 323, 325-26, 333 

Taegu, 32 

Taejon, 54 

Taney, Chief Justice, 333 and n. 

Tank Lieutenant, The, 62-63, 65-70, 
131; his onetime C.O., 65-67, 68, 

Tchaikovsky, 218 

Tchou Nyung-Ha, 24 

Thailand, forces in Korea, 84 

Theresienstadt, Germany, Concen- 
tration Camp, 159 

Thimayya, Lieutenant General, 267, 
268, 277-78, 280, 283, 284, 289, 
293-97, 298, 299, 300, 310, 311- 
12, 314, 315, 316, 319-20, 321, 
325, 326, 327 

Thirty-eighth parallel, 327 

Thorat, General, 267, 272, 283, 289, 
290, 319, 822 

Tokyo, bombing of, 335 

Tokyo War Crimes Trials, 212, 335- 
36 andn. 

Traz, David de, 146, 199 

Truman, President, 35, 190 

Tsai, 127, 172, 226-27, 252, 253 

Tsi, Colonel, 165, 212 



Turkey, forces in Korea, 84, 88, 93, 

94, 95, 134 

Twenty-First Infantry, US, 21 
Twenty-Fourth Division, US, 11, 21 

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 
4, 5, 9, 11, 18, 36, 48, 173, 192, 
193, 212, 216, 228, 229, 261 and 
n., 279, 287, 326, 333-34, 337; 
participation in Korean War, 

United Nations: General Assembly, 
227, 229; Secretary General, 7, 
163; Security Council, 4, 11 

United Nations Command, 9, 140, 
247, 314, 328 

Unsan, 71 

Valley, the, 74-79, 79-80, 83 
VashHev, Lieutenant General, 230 
Vishinsky, Andrei, 333 
V-J Day, 137 
Vlasov, General, 216 

Wagle, Dr. P. M., 150 
Walker, General, 20 
Wang, General, 168, 177 
Wang Hasin, Sergeant, 272-73 

Wang Hsu, 250 

Wang Ping-nan, 62 

War and Peace, 218 

Ward, R. E., 64 

Whallon, Captain Harold, 184-88 

Winnington, Allan, 152, 158-59, 160, 
171, 177, 249 n., 250, 273, 274 

Wong, 201 

World Peace Committee, 148, 166 

World Peace Council, 173 

World War I, 5 

World War H, 5, 40, 48, 54, 55, 65, 
84, 129, 173, 200, 202, 212, 
219 n., 265, 330, 334, 335 

WPA, 221 

Yalu River, 32, 80, 106, 130, 203, 
230; prison camps on, 49, 54, 63, 
70, 74, 95, 105, 141, 143, 161 n., 
213, 232, 250, 251, 255 

Yamashita, General, 336 

Yen, James, 113 

Yi, Mr. Chen, 281 

Yoncho-do, 217, 236, 237, 238, 266 

Yongdungpo, 35, 36 

Zhukov-Verechnikov, Dr. N. N. 173